Thomas Mortimer IV Charged with Four Counts of First-Degree Murder in Family Slaying

Thomas Mortimer (Middlesex District Attorneys Office)
Middlesex District Attorney's Office
Thomas Mortimer (Middlesex District Attorneys Office)

WOBURN, Mass. (CBS/WBZ/AP) Thomas Mortimer IV, the man accused of slaying four of his family members in their suburban Boston home has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder.

PICTURES: Mortimer Family Murder

Mortimer was arraigned Friday and charged with the murders of his wife Laura Stone Mortimer, his mother-in-law Ellen Stone, his five-year-old son Thomas, and his two-year-old daughter Charlotte.

The 43-year-old suspect was captured and arrested in Bernardston, Mass. Thursday after leading police on a brief manhunt that ended in northwestern Massachusetts close to the Vermont border.

Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said during a news conference Thursday that a father and son had helped Mortimer jump start his car around 11:45 a.m. The father recognized the suspect's SUV from news alerts and notified police, says CBS affiliate WBZ.

Bernardston police chief James Palmeri said that he had been actively searching for Mortimer for a couple hours before he was able to pinpoint the suspect.

Once he caught up with him, Palmeri claimed that Mortimer attempted to flee, but did not get very far.

The search for Mortimer began Wednesday after police received a phone call from a distressed relative who had not heard from her sister or mother in a while. When the relative attempted to contact Laura Tuesday night, Mortimer reportedly answered his wife's cell phone and told her, "It's going to be a while before she can get back to you."

When police officers arrived on the scene Wednesday morning, they discovered four members of the man's family bludgeoned to death.

His wife and his son's body were found in the front hallway and his mother-in-law's body was under an oriental rug.

Mortimer's daughter was found in her crib, lifeless and bloodied.

According to the Middlesex District Attorney's Office, his next court date is a probable cause hearing scheduled for August 10 in Woburn District Court.