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3 killed in Conn. home invasion, kidnapping

July 24, 2007|From the Associated Press

CHESHIRE, CONN. — At least two men broke into a prominent doctor's home early Monday, kidnapped a female family member to withdraw money from a bank and then killed his wife and their two daughters, police said.

Dr. William Petit Jr., who was severely injured, told police his family had been held hostage for hours before one member, who was not identified, was taken to the bank with a suspect.

Bank employees were suspicious of the transaction and called police, who surrounded Petit's home, authorities said.

A town police officer saw two men leaving the home as it was engulfed in flames, authorities said. The men sped away in a station wagon, striking several police cruisers before they were captured.

Petit's wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and their two daughters, Hayley and Michaela, were found dead in the home, said a law enforcement official. Authorities would not disclose how William Petit Jr., 50, was injured.

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