Authorities said Sunday that a man suspected of fatally stabbing a woman, her teen-aged son and her mother in their Nashville suburban home lived nearby.
Police spokesman Don Aaron told The Tennessean that the bodies of 48-year-old Michelle Pinkowski; her son, 14-year-old Jonathan Culpepper, and her mother, Marylea Jordan, were discovered around 3 a.m. Sunday at the Bellevue home.
Police said the boy’s 9-year-old sister witnessed at least one of the killings before running out of the house and getting a neighbor to call authorities.
When officers arrived at the home, Aaron said, a bloodied Craig Garber answered the door and told officers to “just kill me”.
Police said the 41-year-old Garber, who had self-inflicted stab wounds, was in stable condition Sunday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and is a suspect in the three deaths. Aaron said Garber lives a few doors down from the family and is known to have “emotional issues.”
Investigators described the scene inside the home as gruesome.
“The scene is very bloody,” Aaron said. “It’s not something that you see in Nashville.”
Aaron said Garber and Pinkowski were seen together on his porch around 11 p.m. Saturday. He said the two may have gone to Pinkowski’s home, to her finished basement, which is where her body was eventually found.
Police believe Garber then went upstairs and killed the boy in his bedroom and then Jordan. Aaron said the young daughter, who was sleeping on the couch, saw her grandmother get stabbed and fled out a back door to seek help from a neighbor, who called 911.
According to police, the neighbor got a gun and rushed to the girl’s home, where he saw Garber walking around inside.
“The way she was screaming and crying saying he’s killing her, he’s killing her!’ I just ran,” the neighbor, Jason Zimmerman, told WKRN-TV.
The neighbor said he backed away from the home when he heard sirens.
Aaron said police are trying to get warrants to search the homes of both the victims and the suspect. He said police are also trying to determine the exact nature of the relationship – if any – the man has with his neighbors and what the motive could be.
Aaron pretty much ruled out any other suspects.
“We firmly believe the man responsible for this is known, is in custody and is in Vanderbilt,” he said