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Two teens suspected of triple homicide in Wyoming

Stephen Hammer, 19, is one of two teens arrested in connection to the murders of three members of a family in Clark, Wyoming on March 2, 2013.
KTVQ
(CBS/AP) CLARK, Wyoming - Two teens were arrested Saturday in Clark, Wyoming in connection with the murders of three members of a family.

Park County Sheriff Scott Steward said 19-year-old Stephen Hammer and 18-year-old Tanner Vanpelt were arrested after neighbors gave deputies a description of two men seen entering the house where the victim's bodies were found.

The neighbors saw two vehicles speeding away, including a black Audi belonging to 40-year-old Ildiko Freitas, who owned the house with her husband.

Freitas and her parents, 69-year-old Janos and 70-year-old Hildegard Volgyesi, were found dead inside the house. At least two of the victims had been shot.

The sheriff issued a statement describing the Saturday shootings as "nothing short of cold-blooded murder." But he gave no indication of motive, and his office declined to release details, citing the ongoing investigation.

Thomas Volgyesi, the son of the two elder victims and brother to Freitas, said Monday that he knew of no connection between the suspects and his family.

One of the victims' neighbors, Robert Bushman, speculated that the suspects were interested primarily in stealing Freitas' Audi. He said another neighbor who had watched the suspects approach the residence estimated that they were in the house for 20 minutes at most.

Hammer and Vanpelt are currently being held at the Park County Detention Center in Cody, Wyoming. The two have not been charged with any crimes, but the Park County Attorney's Office says charges will be filed against both men either late on Monday, or on Tuesday morning before the men appear in court at 9 a.m., CBS affiliate KTVQ reports.

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

Residents of the rural community dominated by ranching farming could not recall a murder in recent decades. The town has only a few businesses and no post office, and its roughly 300 residents are scattered across a broad river valley framed by the Beartooth Mountains that rise up to the west. The closest large towns, Powell and Cody, are more than 30 miles away.

  • Crimesider Staff

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