When Sgt. Michael Sutton of the Hopkinton Mass., Police department entered the home at 6 Cubs Path on the cold, wintry night of Jan. 21, 2006, the lights were on, classical music played in the baby's room and the dog was barking.
All signs of life. But on the witness stand today, Sutton admitted that what he failed to see that night were the two dead bodies lying under a comforter on the four-poster bed in the master bedroom.
Sutton was testifying in the double-murder trial of 29-year-old Neil Entwistle, who is accused of killing his wife, 27-year-old Rachel Entwistle and 9-month-old baby, Lillian, before fleeing to his native England.
Sutton described being called to the house by a "distressed" and "anxious" friend of Rachel Entwistle's, Joanna Gately, who said the couple hadn't shown up for a dinner engagement.
Sutton said he performed a "well-being" check on the house and "nothing looked out of the ordinary." There were some bills on a table in the kitchen, and a digital camera left out showed pictures taken just a few days before, an upstairs bathtub was still half full "as if they had been going to give the baby a bath," said Sutton.
When Sutton returned to the house the next morning, something had changed. "I noticed a slight odor ... we basically followed the odor upstairs," said Sutton. In the master bedroom, Sutton walked around to the head of the bed and lifted the comforter up. "I observed a small baby's face, eyes and a nose. I looked to the right of the baby's face and saw a woman's face," said Sutton.
During Sutton's testimony, Neil Entwistle's mother, Yvonne, left the courtroom. His father, Cliff, and brother, Russell, remained seated behind him.
Sgt. Mary Ritchie of State Police Crime Scene Services described in excruciating detail the wounds she found on the victims' bodies.
On Lillian, Ritchie noticed "a puncture to the left chest area. ... "It appeared to be a darkened color, almost like soot." As the investigators gently unzipped the pajamas, "we noticed the puncture … and there was a slight pooling of blood on the external part of the sleeper." There was also some "discoloration that appeared to be bruising" on Lillian's face, she testified.
" When investigators rolled Rachel onto her back they noticed "a puncture wound to her left breast." The medical examiner later determined that Rachel had died of a gunshot wound to the head.
The alleged murder weapon was also brought out in court today -- a .22 caliber Colt revolver.
Ritchie donned blue latex gloves to handle the weapon as she testified that there were 10 fingerprints found on the gun, but they "couldn't be matched because of quality or quantity."
Prosecutors contend that Entwistle killed his wife and daughter because he was unhappy with his sex life and distraught over his mounting debts.
Prosecutors allege that Entwistle stole his father-in-law's .22 caliber handgun to commit the murders and then drove back down to his in-laws house, Joseph and Priscilla Matterrazo's home, in Carver, Mass., to return the gun before fleeing the country.
But Entwistle has maintained that he had a happy marriage, and he has no idea who could have killed his family.
In court testimony Tuesday, Pamela Jackson, who acts as a "Welcome Lady" for the town of Hopkinton, described how she met the couple just days after they moved into their Hopkinton home. Jackson testified that she visited the couple in their "dream house" on a quiet cul-de-sac. Jackson said the couple she met seemed to be "loving" and "adorable," and that Neil Entwistle seemed to dote on his daughter, Lillian.
More forensic evidence is expected to be introduced as the trial continues.