2 Wyoming Teens to Appear in Court in Connection With Triple Homicide

ABC News
Wyoming Teens Used Stolen Guns to Kill Family, Steal SUV
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Wyoming Teens Used Stolen Guns to Kill Family, Steal SUV (ABC News)

Two teens are set to appear in court today to face charges in the deaths of three members of a Wyoming family, a case authorities are calling "nothing short of cold-blooded murder."

The suspects are identified as 18-year-old Tanner Vanpelt and 19-year-old Stephen Hammer, both from Cody, Wyo.

Vanpelt and Hammer were arrested Saturday after neighbors described seeing two men entering a Clark, Wyo., home where the victims' bodies were found at approximately 11:15 a.m. local time, Park County Sheriff Scott A. Steward said in the statement.

Witnesses and neighbors reported seeing two cars flee from the residence a short time later. One of the cars allegedly belonged to one of the victims, 40-year-old Ildiko Freitas, police said.

Freitas and her parents, Janos Volgyesi, 69, and Hildegard Volgyesi, 70, were found dead inside the house by police.

Police located the vehicles several miles from the crime scene and arrested Vanpelt and Hammer without incident.

"This is nothing short of cold-blooded murder and I attribute the quick apprehension of the suspects to alert neighbors and the swift actions of members of the Park County Sheriff's Office and Troopers of the Wyoming State Patrol," Steward said.

Freitas' brother, Thomas Volgyesi, told The Associated Press Monday that he knew of no connection between the suspects and his family.

Police have not identified a motive or said how the three victims were killed.

Volgyesi said his parents retired to Wyoming four years ago for its more relaxed lifestyle, after leaving their longtime home in Southern California.

"They were the only family I have and I'm left with nothing now," Volgyesi told the AP Monday. "To have them taken away from me like this, I'm not registering it yet."

Vanpelt's father told the AP Monday that his son had not been in serious trouble before his arrest. Robb Vanpelt said his son was not living with him and the accusation he was involved in a triple homicide was "pretty much totally out of the blue."

Tanner Vanpelt graduated in December 2011 from Cody High School, where principal Brandon Jensen recalled that the teenager wasn't involved in athletics or after-school clubs, but also never had serious discipline issues.

Hammer attended the school only a year before transferring during his freshman year, Jensen said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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