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Daughter of Slain Newspaper Heiress Commits Suicide

(AP Photo, file)
Photo: Anne Morell Petrillo

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (AP) A body found Sunday in the Hudson River likely is that of a woman who jumped from the Tappan Zee Bridge last week, 15 years after her stepfather leaped to his death from the bridge following a brutal family killing, police said.

State Police Sgt. Todd Parent said they believe the body belongs to Anne Morell Petrillo, a daughter of slain newspaper heiress Anne Scripps Douglas, the great-great-granddaughter of The Detroit News founder James E. Scripps.

Witnesses saw the 38-year-old Petrillo, of Rye Brook, in Westchester County, stop her car on the bridge and jump on Thursday, police said. Petrillo left her identification and a note, but police have refused to describe the note.

They have called her case a suicide.

The Rockland County medical examiner's office was expected to make the official identification of the body, state police Investigator Joseph Becerra told The Journal News on Sunday.

(AP Photo, file)
Photo: Anne Scripps Douglas.

Petrillo's stepfather, Scott Douglas, leaped to his death from the bridge on New Year's Day 1994.

Police later found that he had bludgeoned Scripps Douglas with a claw hammer the previous night in their home in Bronxville. Petrillo found her mother's bloodied body.

Scripps Douglas, who was 47, also was a great-great-grandniece of E.W. Scripps, the founder of Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps Co., which owns newspapers and television stations.

  • Crimesider Staff

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