Neil Entwistle, who returned to his native England around the time his wife and infant daughter were killed in their Massachusetts home last month, was arrested by British authorities on Thursday, according to Middlesex District Attorney’s spokeswoman Emily LaGrassa.
He has been charged with two counts of murder, one count of illegal possession of a firearm and one count of illegal possession of ammunition, said Melissa Sherman of the Middlesex district attorney’s office.
Rachel Entwistle, 27, and 9-month-old Lillian, were found dead Jan. 22 in their home in the Boston suburb of Hopkinton.
Rachel’s family issued a statement on Thursday saying they were “deeply saddened” by the arrest. “Rachel and Lilly loved Neil very much. Neil was a trusted husband and father, and it is incomprehensible how that love and trust was betrayed in the ultimate act of violence,” the statement said.
Neil Entwistle, who authorities say used his father-in-law’s shotgun to shoot his wife and daughter, may have intended to kill himself as well but did not follow through, London District Attorney Martha Coakley told the Associated Press.
Neil Entwistle, 27, was taken into custody in the UK by detectives and will face an extradition hearing. Since his family was killed he had been staying at his parents’ home in Nottinghamshire.
Friends and neighbors expressed surprise about the day’s events. “I’m really shocked,” said David Thorpe, a school friend of Entwistle’s. “It’s not the sort of thing you expect to happen to someone you once knew at school. I considered him a friend.”
The couple originally met at the University of York in 1999 and lived in England until last year, when the American-born Rachel, who taught school in Worcestershire, said she wanted to live closer to her parents in Massachusetts. Their daughter was born last April.
On Feb. 1, Rachel and Lillian Entwistle were laid to rest together in a wooden casket at a service attended by about 500 mourners – but not Neil Entwistle. The memorial service was at the same Roman Catholic church where the baby girl had been baptized not two months earlier.