Steven Pladl, the 45-year-old North Carolina man accused of fathering a child with his 20-year-old biological daughter and killing both his daughter and their baby before killing himself, committed Thursday’s violence after daughter Katie ended their relationship.
The revelation came in a 911 call made by Pladl’s mother, who told 911 dispatchers her son had called her saying he had killed the boy after Katie broke up with him on the phone — and that he planned to travel to New York to kill Katie next, according to phone records obtained by ABC11.
“He told me he … oh God … he told me killed his baby and he’s in the house,” Pladl’s mother said through tears, according to the News & Observer.
In January, Pladl was arrested for allegedly impregnating his biological daughter, Katie Pladl, whom he had placed for adoption when she was a baby. They reunited two years ago and began a romantic relationship, authorities allege.
On Thursday morning, police in Knightdale, North Carolina, did a welfare check on the baby, Bennett, after Pladl’s mom called 911, Police Chief Lawrence Capps said at a Thursday news conference.
The night before, Pladl had picked up Bennett from his mother’s house, Capp said, adding that his mother had custody of the seven-month-old. Pladl told his mom they were going to Skype with Katie, who was living in New York near the Connecticut border.
But then he called his mother the following morning and told her he’d killed Bennett and planned to kill Katie, according to CBS17.
By the time Knightdale authorities discovered the slain child, Pladl was on his way to New Milford, Connecticut, just across the New York border, where Katie and her adoptive father were running errands. Pladl fatally shot both of them in their car using an AR-15-style rifle, New Milford police said at a press conference Friday.
Shortly after, Pladl drove to Dover, New York, and turned the gun on himself.[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/429100143" params="visual=true&color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]
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According to warrants obtained by PEOPLE, Pladl’s ex-wife — Katie’s biological mother — first notified police of the possible relationship last May. She had read an entry in one of Katie’s journals in which the girl discussed being pregnant with her biological father’s love child.
Pladl and his wife placed Katie for adoption when he was 22 and she was 17. The couple stayed together until divorcing last summer, according to court records.
When Katie turned 18 in 2016, she tracked her birth father down through social media.
The ex-wife told police she believed Pladl psychologically manipulated Katie.
Katie and Pladl married in July and in September welcomed a baby boy in Virginia before moving to North Carolina, where they were arrested. In addition to incest and adultery, Katie and Pladl were both charged with contributing to delinquency.
In February, Pladl posted his court-mandated bond in his incest case but was required to stay in Virginia and away from Katie until trial. However a month later, a judge allowed Pladl to amend his bond and travel to North Carolina, according to local station WTVR.
Katie was also released in February on the condition that she live with her adoptive parents in New York, WTVR reports. However, she was allowed to travel out of state.