Police in New York City are investigating a grisly double murder-suicide in which they say a man decapitated his wife, slit the throat of their five-year-old daughter and then took his own life by hanging Wednesday night, just hours after the woman tried to get an order of protection.
According to the NYPD, at around 9.18pm officers responded to a 911 call requesting a welfare check inside an apartment at 151 West 121st Street in the Harlem section of Manhattan.
Upon entering the unit, officers found Yonathan Tedla, 46, Jennifer Schlecht, 42, and their five-year-old daughter, Abaynesh Schlecht Tedla, dead inside.
It is unclear how long the family had been dead before their bodies were discovered.
Schlecht’s heartbroken father, Kenneth Schlecht, 74, tells New York Daily News that his daughter’s marriage was unraveling, and that his son-in-law had threatened to ‘take them all out’ if Jennifer tried to serve him with divorce papers.
Spectrum News NY1 said neighbors described the couple and their young daughter as ‘the perfect family’.
Tedla was discovered in a bedroom, his wife in the bathroom, and their child in another bedroom, according to a press release from the police. The mother and daughter both had neck trauma.
The New York Daily News reported, citing unnamed sources, that Schlecht was found decapitated, with her severed head resting in her lap.
Her daughter suffered a cut so deep to her neck that she was partially beheaded.
The five-year-old’s father was found hanging from a rope tied to a bedroom door.
Police seized a knife, believed to be the murder weapon, from the scene.
Tedla and Schlecht were reportedly going through divorce proceedings and were due in court just hours before the gruesome slayings.
Schlecht’s brother contacted the authorities that evening, asking to check on his sister after failing to reach her by phone.
Kenneth Schlecht, Jennifer’s father, tells the Daily News that the last time he spoke to his daughter was last Sunday and she was in tears.
‘She said her husband had indicated that if she served him with divorce papers he would ruin her or take them all out, which was apparently what he did,’ he said.
Jennifer and Yonathan Tedla, an immigrant from Ethiopia, met in the early aughts at Columbia University, where she was attending graduate school and he was working as an IT technician.
According to Kenneth, Jennifer and Yonathan’s previously happy marriage began coming apart at the seams when they welcomed their daughter five years ago.
Around the time Abaynesh turned two, Jennifer got an order of protection against her husband, but decided to stay with him because she did not want her daughter to grow up without a dad.
Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail