FBI Probes Dad's Finances After Family Hotel Slay

Long Island neighbors stunned about family tragedy

The FBI is investigating the financial dealings of a Long Island man who police believe killed his two daughters, his wife and then himself in a Baltimore hotel room over the weekend.

An FBI spokesman would not say how many investors have filed complaints against William Parente, 59, of Garden City. At least one filed a complaint with the New York Attorney General's Office. An official there said it appears millions of dollars may be unaccounted for.

Craig Gardy, an attorney for Bruce Montague, confirms that his client had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars with Parente. When Montague tried to get the money back, Parente's checks to him bounced.

Parente's wife, 58-year-old Betty, and their two daughters -- 19-year-old Stephanie and 11-year-old Catherine -- died from blunt force trauma and asphyxiation in a Maryland hotel room over the weekend. Police believe Parente killed them before he cut himself, taking his own life.

Hotel workers found the bodies Monday after the family failed to check out. Spokesman Cpl. Mike Hill said William Parente was found in the bathroom; the three others were found on the bed.

Hill said it appeared that Betty and Catherine died first and Stephanie died later Sunday afternoon.

The parents and the younger daughter were visiting Stephanie, a student at Loyola College in Baltimore.

They seemed like an ideal family: William Parente was a Manhattan lawyer, his wife Betty a stay-at-home mom active in the community. Their daughters were well-liked by teachers and classmates.

"The why and the motive in this is just a big blank right now," Hill told The New York Daily News.

Added one of the Parentes neighbors, Mary Opulente Krener: "I can't tell you how heartsick I am. This is the most wonderful family, the most kind and loving family. I'm astounded."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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