An Ohio man who killed himself, his wife and his daughter Sunday in an apparent double murder-suicide was a brother of a Hanahan woman who died in a similar tragedy in January.
Police in Massillon, Ohio were called to the home of Kyle and Ann Blankenship about 5:30 p.m. Sunday to check on the family’s well-being after a report of a family argument, according to The Independent, a daily newspaper serving Massillon.
Neighbors told police they had heard noises, perhaps gunshots, about 3 p.m. The bodies of Kyle Blankenship, 42, his wife Ann Urbas Blankenship, 42, and their daughter Grayce, 8, were found inside their home. A handgun was found underneath Kyle Blankenship’s body.
Massillon Police Sgt. Paul Covert told The Independent investigators were assuming Kyle Blankenship had killed his wife and daughter before killing himself.
On Jan. 31, Kyle Blankenship’s sister, 51-year-old Phyllis Oser of Hanahan, shot and killed two of her grandchildren, Kylie Lavelle, 5, and 5-month-old Landon Lavelle, then turned the gun on herself. Hanahan police said she left two notes in which she indicated depression and stress over family and financial matters.
Ohio authorities said no suicide note was found at the Blankenship residence.
Next-door neighbor Andy Mautz told The Independent that Kyle Blankenship seemed to have difficulty coping with the loss of his sister.
“I know he had a hard time with that. He said it was always a struggle,” Mautz said.
Mautz told the newspaper he had spoken with Kyle Blankenship for about an hour on Friday and there were no signs pointing toward Sunday afternoon’s tragedy.
Reach David W. MacDougall at 937-5655.