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Old 01-20-2010, 10:41 AM   #1
SimplySherri
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Default The Petit Family (Conneticut) July 2007

Doctor's Family Killed In Fire, Home Invasion

Police Arrest Two People Seen Fleeing

POSTED: 12:06 pm EDT July 23, 2007
UPDATED: 11:18 am EDT July 24, 2007



CHESHIRE, Conn. -- A prominent doctor's wife and two daughters died in a fire that police said was ignited after a home invasion early Monday morning.Investigators told Eyewitness News they believe a home invasion robbery took place at about 3 a.m. at the home of Dr. William Petit Jr. Police said they believe the assailants set the house on fire before leaving the scene.Channel 3 Eyewitness News reporter Leon Collins reported Petit lived in the home with his wife and two daughters. Collins said a fire caused extensive damage inside the house and the charred remains of the fire could be seen from the street through the upstairs window of the house in the 300 block of Sorgum Mill Drive.Eyewitness News has learned that the three people killed in the incident were the doctor's wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, a nurse at Cheshire Academy, and the couple's two daughters, Hayley and Michaela. Police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding their deaths.St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury told Eyewitness News Monday afternoon that Dr. Petit was being treated at the hospital and is listed in stable condition.Authorities surrounded the home after a woman was taken by one of the suspects to a bank and made a withdrawal around 9:30 a.m., police said. The woman was able to communicate to the teller that she and her family were being held hostage in their home, authorities said. The teller contacted police.Police said officers arrested two people before they were able to escape the neighborhood."(They were) apprehended down the street. When they left, they apparently set the house ablaze," Cheshire police Lt. Jay Markella said.Police said the suspects rammed one cruiser, went down the street and smashed into two others."In Cheshire we're not used to this type of event," Cheshire Police Chief Michael Cruess said. "It's a very unfortunate, tragic event that's probably going to reach right down to the core of the community."School: Daughter Planned To Attend Dartmouth

Hayley Petit recently graduated from Miss Porter's School in Farmington and planned to attend Dartmouth College next month, Channel 3 Eyewitness News reporter Jamie Roth reported.Roth reported that Hayley Petit was the co-editor in chief of her school newspaper, the co-captain of her crew team as well as a member of the basketball and cross country teams.

fficials at Miss Porter's School told Eyewitness News that she also ran a charity called Hayley's Hope which raised over $50,000 to fight multiple sclerosis. Roth reported that she planned to hand the charity over to her younger sister, Michaela.The head of the school e-mailed alumni of the school to inform them of the death of Hayley and her sister and mother.Hayley, the letter said, was loved by all students and teachers and her family was exceptionally involved, wonderful members of the Miss Porter's community.Dr. Petit and his wife were married for 22 years.Community Mourns Doctor's Family

William Petit Jr., 50, is an endocrinologist and the medical director of the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at The Hospital of Central Connecticut."All of us at the Hospital of Central Connecticut are shocked and saddened by these tragic events," said Laurence A. Tanner, the president of the hospital. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Petit as he attempts to recover from this unfathomable occurrence. We cannot express the depth of our sorrow."The medical examiner's office told Eyewitness News that autopsies are planned for Tuesday.The state police major crimes unit has responded to the scene to assist in the investigation.
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