CEO's 10-Year-Old Son Was Tortured Before Mysterious Fire That Killed 4; Killers May Have Ordered Pizza: Report
CEO Savvas Savopoulos’ 10-year-old son Philip may have been tortured before the family’s killers set fire to their multimillion-dollar home last Thursday.
The bodies of Savopoulos, his wife Amy, son Philip and housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa were found inside the home once firefighters were able to quell the blaze in the upscale Washington, D.C., neighborhood where the family lived.
Detectives told WUSA on Wednesday that Philip was tortured in an effort to get money from his wealthy father. Police previously indicated that at least three of the victims had suffered stab wounds or blunt force injuries prior to the fire being set.
And in another disturbing revelation, the killers may have ordered pizza to the home while they held the family captive. Two clerks at a Domino’s Pizza told the station that a delivery person went to the house. Domino’s did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Nelitza Gutierrez, a second housekeeper working for the family, told Fox 5 Wednesday that Savopoulos had arranged for $40,000 in cash to be delivered to the home last Thursday to pay for the opening of a martial arts center in Chantilly, Virginia. She said she spoke with the person who was supposed to make the delivery and confirmed that they had dropped it off. It’s unclear what happened to the money.
With no one in custody for the horrific deaths after nearly a week, neighbors are terrified that they could be next.
“It scares me,” a housekeeper in the neighborhood told PEOPLE. “If it could happen to them, what’s to say we are not next?”
She added: “This is a good neighborhood. We think we are safe. Now this.”
Authorities have released the picture of a person of interest in the case, but the low-quality camera footage doesn’t offer much in the way of identifying features.
About 50 firefighters responded to the fire last Thursday, which authorities immediately found suspicious after they caught the scent of gasoline in the air.
“There was a strong smell of accelerant on the property,” one of the firefighters tells PEOPLE. “It smelled like gasoline.”
He adds: “The fire was actually not all that big; we had it under control pretty quickly.”
They found Figueroa’s body first once they entered the home. “That’s when we knew it was something else,” the firefighter says.
“[We] were told we had to leave immediately because they didn’t want us to contaminate the scene, because it was an active crime scene at that point,” he continues.
“We all waited outside. They came out and told us that they had found more bodies of the man and his wife. The last one we heard about was the kid, who was in a bedroom by himself. We were like, ‘Oh my God, someone would kill a kid?’ ”
• Reporting by STEVE HELLING and SUSAN KEATING
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