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Matthew A. SLOCUM





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide - Shooting to death three members of his family and then setting fire to their house
Number of victims: 3
Date of murder: July 13, 2011
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1987
Victim profile: His mother, Lisa Coon Harrington, 44; her husband, Dan Harrington, 41; and Harrington's son, Joshua O'Brien, 24
Method of murder: Shooting (12-gauge shotgun)
Location: White Creek, Washington County, New York, USA
Status: Sentenced to 88 years to life in prison on March 30, 2012

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Slocum sentenced to 88 years to life in prison

By Don Lehman -

March 30, 2012

FORT EDWARD -- A tearful Matthew Slocum was sentenced Friday to 88 years to life in state prison for the shotgun killings of his mother, stepfather and stepbrother last July.

Slocum offered no statement before Washington County Judge Kelly McKeighan imposed the maximum prison term, the judge saying he “double checked” state law to make sure the death penalty was not possible in the case before he settled on the term.

McKeighan’s sentence came after he heard emotional victims impact statements from relatives of victims Lisa Harrington, Dan Harrington and Josh O’Brien before a packed courtroom.

“Matthew Slocum, go straight to hell. That’s where you belong,” said Raymond Harrington, Dan Harrington’s father.

Family members of the victims, many wearing t-shirts with a picture of Dan Harrington and the words, “Dan, Josh and Lisa forever” on them, broke into a cheer and applause outside the courtroom after the sentencing hearing.

Slocum, 24, will have to serve 88 years before he becomes eligible for parole.

He appeared to cry at one point of the sentencing, but otherwise showed no emotion and only spoke to acknowledge he had a prior felony conviction. His lawyer, Washington County Public Defender Michael Mercure, filed a notice of appeal after the hearing.

Slocum was convicted March 8 of three counts of second-degree murder and lesser charges of arson, tampering with physical evidence and criminal possession of a weapon in the July 13 killings at his family’s Turnpike Road, White Creek home.

He shot all three to death with a 12-gauge shotgun, then set their house on fire before fleeing with his girlfriend, Loretta Colegrove. She was not charged, but testified against Slocum and said she saw him shoot O’Brien.

The defense tried to blame Colegrove, with Slocum testifying he saw her shoot O’Brien. Colegrove, the mother of Slocum’s infant son, was not present for the sentencing.

The verdict came after two hours of deliberations that followed a nearly two week trial.

Lisa Harrington, 44, was Slocum’s mother, Dan Harrington, 41, was her husband and Josh O’Brien, 24, was his son from a previous marriage.

Victim impact statements were given by Ray Coon, who was Lisa Harrington’s brother and Josh O’Brien’s mother, Pollyanna Harrington. They told of the devastating emotional impact.

Pollyanna Harrington told how she worried about O’Brien’s 3-year-old son growing up without his father and the milestones the boy will miss sharing with his father.

“Ayden’s first of everything will be without his father,” she said.

Raymond Harrington, who lived next door to his son’s family’s Turnpike Road, White Creek home, told of being among the first on the scene as the house burned and frantically trying to find his loved ones.

“I ran around the burning structure, calling for Dan, Lisa and Josh,” he said. “I felt so helpless.”

Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright asked for the maximum sentence, calling the killings “one of the most heinous crimes ever committed in Washington County” and saying Slocum deserves a “miserable existence in prison” for what he did to a good family.

McKeighan laid out all of the crimes Slocum committed that day, from the killings to the arson fire to “stealing from the dead.”

And he pointed to a picture of Slocum taken in a New Hampshire pawn store hours after the killing, when Slocum sold his dead mother’s jewelry and had a “huge smile on your face” for the camera before he imposed consecutive sentences for the charges that add up to 88 years to life.

The courtroom was packed for the proceeding, with only a few seats empty. Many of the victims’ loved ones gathered outside the court house afterward, clustering for a cheer and expressing ill will for Slocum to the media that awaited.

Raymond Harrington said the sentencing was “a little bit of relief” for the family, which had hoped the death penalty could be imposed. New York does not have the death penalty, however.

“It makes us feel like justice has been served today,” he said of the prison term.

“He’s never getting out. I’m relieved for that,” Coon said.

He said Slocum, who had a lengthy criminal record, was likely destined to kill someone else if he hadn’t committed the July 13 murders.

No motive was ever established for the killings, but testimony showed that the Harringtons had been trying to find an apartment for Slocum, Colegrove and their child.

Raymond Harrington said he believed that was probably the issue that caused Slocum to lose control that morning.

“He knew his mother was going to start pushing him out of the nest,” he said. “He couldn’t deal with it.”


Matthew Slocum Convicted Of Killing Mother, Stepfather and Stepbrother, Torching Home

March 8, 2012

FORT EDWARD, N.Y. -- An upstate New York man was convicted Thursday of killing his mother, stepfather and stepbrother with a shotgun and burning down their rural home before fleeing with his girlfriend and their baby.

A Washington County jury deliberated for about two hours before finding 24-year-old Matthew Slocum guilty of arson, three counts of second-degree murder and other charges, local media reported.

On the witness stand, Slocum admitted setting the house on fire, but blamed the killings on his girlfriend, Loretta Colegrove. He said he heard blasts and saw her gun down his stepbrother in their home in White Creek, near the Vermont border 35 miles northeast of Albany.

Colegrove testified it was Slocum who fatally shot the three relatives on July 13.

Slocum was arrested that day in New Hampshire after a multistate manhunt.

He was accused of killing his mother, Lisa Harrington, 44; her husband, Dan Harrington, 41; and Harrington's son, Joshua O'Brien, 24.

The fire quickly led to Amber Alerts and a search in New York and New England for Slocum, who was believed to be holding Colegrove against her will along with their infant son, Raymond. After being spotted near Adams, Mass., they were found near the home of Slocum's uncle in Gilsum, N.H., and Slocum surrendered. Colegrove and the child weren't hurt. She wasn't charged.

Defense attorney Michael Mercure told the jury that blood spatter evidence pointed to Colegrove as the killer, and Slocum fled after the killings out of an instinct to protect her and their child.

But District Attorney Kevin Kortright argued there was no evidence implicating Colegrove, who led investigators to guns dumped on a rural road in western Massachusetts.

One prosecution witness testified that Slocum told him strife between his mother and Colegrove led him to kill his family. Kortright also recounted Slocum's confession to investigators.

"He told them, `I just shotgunned my mother, dude,'" Kortright said.

Dan Harrington was a deputy highway superintendent. He and his wife served on the town recreation committee.

Slocum had gone to prison in 2006 for breaking into a house and stealing cash, according to state records. He was released but returned to custody twice for violations before his parole expired in December 2009.

Kortright said Slocum faces as much as 25 years to life in prison on each of the murder counts.



Guilty verdict in triple killing

Jeers, outbursts aimed at Matthew Slocum after jury's quick decision in deaths of relatives, fire

By Robert Gavin -

Thursday, March 8, 2012

FORT EDWARD — Jurors took just two hours Thursday to convict Matthew Slocum of executing his mother, stepfather and stepbrother inside their White Creek home last summer and setting the house on fire.

Family members of the victims — including Slocum's relatives — embraced and erupted in celebration as sheriff's deputies escorted the newly convicted killer from the courtroom following his conviction on all seven counts he faced in Washington County Court.

"Rot in hell, coward!" yelled John Harrington, the brother of Slocum's stepfather, as the defendant left Judge Kelly McKeighan's court.

Slocum, 24, faces at least 75 years to life in prison for firing a 12-gauge shotgun into the heads of his mother, Lisa Coon Harrington, 44; her husband, Dan Harrington, 41; and Harrington's son, Joshua O'Brien, 24, inside the home at 118 Turnpike Road in the pre-dawn hours of July 13.

Slocum lived in the home at the time with his then-girlfriend, Loretta Colegrove, and their infant son Raymond. The victims' bodies were found amid the charred rubble; the Harringtons were in their bed, O'Brien on the living room floor. The remains of two family dogs were also found, additional victims of Slocum's carnage, the prosecution said.

Jurors convicted Slocum of three counts of second-degree murder, arson, weapon possession, tampering with evidence and petit larceny. He has a previous conviction for grand larceny, for which he served prison time.

"You're going home, Matt!" one relative of the victims jeered at Slocum after the verdict, mocking him about the potential peril he could face behind bars.

Asked if he was surprised at how quickly jurors returned a verdict, District Attorney Kevin Kortright said, "I thought the proof was there."

Kortright, who prosecuted the case himself, said, "There's no doubt in my mind he did it. I don't think there's any doubt in the jury's mind he did it."

The fast verdict indicated that jurors were unmoved by Slocum's claim that Colegrove shot the victims. Slocum pinned the blame on his former girlfriend while testifying in his own defense Wednesday. Slocum admitted he set the house on fire, but claimed he witnessed Colegrove shoot O'Brien after being awakened by gunfire.

Colegrove had testified she "saw the spark" of Slocum shooting O'Brien on the living room floor. She said Slocum, whom she feared, took the wheel of his family's Ford Mustang — then drove her and the baby on a frightening odyssey. They stopped at her mother's home in Adams, Mass., then at pawn shops in Springfield, Mass., and Keene, N.H., to sell rings and coins that belonged to Slocum's mother. Eventually, they ended up in the woods of New Hampshire, near the home of Slocum's uncle. There, the couple surrendered to police.

On Thursday, if Slocum had supporters in attendance, they were nowhere to be found.

Harrington, who testified for prosecutors, told reporters his late brother "tried to do the best he could with Matt." He said Slocum lived at the home "because Dan loved Lisa."

Harrington said he was not surprised to see Slocum shift blame to his ex-girlfriend.

"It's absolutely typical of Matt," he said. "He's done it his whole life. The systems haven't recognized it. I just hope the sentence is life." Asked if he had any doubt Slocum was the killer, he replied, "No doubt."

Harrington stood beside Raymond Coon, the brother of Slocum's mother. On July 13, when Coon received a call that his sister's house was on fire, he immediately suspected his nephew was involved, he said.

"Before I put my clothes on, I told my wife, 'It's Matt.' I knew it was him!" Coon said. "That kid, he's getting what he deserves."

Slocum confessed to murder when New York police interviewed him in a New Hampshire State Police barracks. He told investigators, "I just shotgunned my mother, dude," a statement he later denied.

Police said Slocum told them Colegrove was not involved. A Washington County child protective services worker also testified Slocum absolved Colegrove of any blame when she met with the defendant in jail. Slocum wrote letters from jail to Colegrove and his brother with apologies. A county correction officer testified she overheard Slocum yell at inmates who had been taunting him in the Washington County jail. She said Slocum shouted, "I'm a murderer!"

In addition, a former inmate at the jail, who spent time in protective custody with Slocum, testified Slocum confided to him he had killed his family.

Washington County Public Defender Michael Mercure argued that Colegrove had ample opportunities to escape or tell police Slocum was a killer, but did not. The attorney said Colegrove was the killer — and maintained that position after the verdict. He said his client plans to appeal the conviction.

Kortright said information Colegrove supplied to prosecutors all checked out.

"I don't believe she had anything to do with it," the district attorney said.

In his final argument, Kortright repeatedly showed jurors video footage from a pawn shop — after the murders — in which Slocum was shown smiling. Asked what the photo tells him of Slocum, the district attorney responded, "Evil. That's my opinion of him."

Kortright noted testimony showed that while Slocum was in jail, photos of his slain mother, stepfather and stepbrother would occasionally be shown on the television news.

"He'd have no emotion — he'd continue to play cards, he'd go out and play basketball," the district attorney said. "He just didn't care."

When the verdict was read, Coon said it was "like somebody took 100 pounds off me."

And Harrington said the entire family experienced a release of stress and heartache. Sentencing was set for March 30. Harrington said he did not expect Slocum to say a word.

"I don't think Matt has the ability to feel remorse," Harrington said. "What can he say? I mean, he did it."


Tearful Slocum blames ex-girlfriend

Defendant admits he set the house on fire, but says ex-girlfriend fired the shots that killed 3 family members

By Robert Gavin -

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

FORT EDWARD — Matthew Slocum pinned the blame squarely on his ex-girlfriend Wednesday for a triple slaying in White Creek last summer while freely admitting he set their house ablaze with three slain family members inside.

Testifying in his own defense, Slocum's eyes welled up as he described the pre-dawn hours of July 13 — when prosecutors allege he murdered his mother, stepfather and stepbrother in the house at 118 Turnpike Road, where Slocum lived with the victims, then-girlfriend Loretta Colegrove and their baby, Raymond.

Slocum, 24, said it was Colegrove — not him — who pulled the trigger.

In a voice so low it was nearly inaudible at times, Slocum cast himself as a stunned-but-loyal boyfriend to a woman who just massacred his family.

"I was in my bedroom sleeping and I woke up to the sound of a gunshot," Slocum, 24, told the jury deciding his second-degree murder case in Washington County Court.

His voice breaking, Slocum said he saw Colegrove shoot his stepbrother, Joshua O'Brien, in the head on the family's living room floor. Slocum's mother, Lisa Coon Harrington, 44, and her husband, Dan Harrington, 41, also were shot in the head that morning in their bedroom.

After O'Brien was shot, Slocum said Colegrove aimed a gun on him and said, "Get back in the room!" He said an emotional Colegrove then embraced him.

Slocum recalled asking Colegrove, "What did you just do?" She replied, "What do you mean? Don't worry about it," he testified.

Slocum said Colegrove handed him a gas can. He poured gas and set the fire. When asked why he set the home on fire, Slocum said he did not want anyone to see his mother shot in the head.

The couple and their baby fled to Adams, Mass., where Colegrove's mother lived. Slocum then drove to pawnshops in Springfield, Mass. and Keene, N.H., where they planned to sell coins. They eventually surrendered to police that same day near the home of Slocum's uncle in New Hampshire.

In surveillance footage from one of the pawnshops, Slocum was smiling. He testified Wednesday that he smiled "because Loretta told me to smile."

During cross-examination, Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright asked Slocum if he had admitted under oath he committed arson. Slocum admitted he did.

Kortright also confronted Slocum with two letters the defendant penned from jail — one to Colegrove, another to his brother, Dan. Slocum gave apologies in both letters, neither of which makes any reference to Colegrove being the shooter.

Slocum wrote Colegrove: "I wish I could take it all back, but it's too late for that now. All I can say is I'm a big piece of (expletive) loser and I should have never been born." He also wrote, "Please try to find it in yourself to forgive me. Tell Raymond I'm sorry."

Slocum wrote his brother: "Danny, I am going to start this letter by saying I'm sorry and that I really don't know or remember what happend. I try to sit and think about it and I don't remember anything that happen that night and the reason I ran cause I don't want to get blamed for something I know what happen. And all I can really say is sorry and that I love you. Please give Dad this address 399 Broadway, Fort Edward, NY 12828. Please try to find it in your self to some day forgive me. I love you. Sorry. Love, your brother, Matthew."

The address is the Washington County jail.

On July 13, Slocum allegedly told police Colegrove had nothing to do with the crime. On Wednesday, when Kortright reminded Slocum he had absolved Colegrove in a statement, Slocum replied, "No, I did not." Asked why he did not earlier implicate Colegrove as the shooter, Slocum said, "I wanted to make sure my son was safe. For some reason, I wanted to make sure his mother was safe at the time."

Slocum peered down during much of his testimony, which was considerably shorter than Colegrove's testimony last week. The defense rested its case at the end of Slocum's appearance.

The prosecution's final witness, Washington County Sheriff's Investigator Bruce Hamilton, told jurors Colegrove had initially been a suspect. He said police dropped her from suspicion as the case continued — and after Slocum said she was not involved.

Hamilton said Slocum confessed he "shot his mother" before investigators even knew any of the victims died from gunfire.

Defense attorneys tried unsuccessfully to get Slocum's alleged confession to police tossed; he did not have an attorney present. According to Hamilton, when police asked Slocum if he wanted a lawyer, Slocum answered, "Yeah, probably." Hamilton justified continuing the interview, saying it was a yes-or-no question.

Among other witnesses, Slocum's defense team called Keene pawnshop worker Jeffrey Cossette, who testified Slocum and Colegrove appeared "lovey-dovey" in the shop — an attempt by the defense to show Colegrove was not cowering in fear when the couple was on the run.

And prosecutors also called Michael Therrien, 35, a sex offender serving time at Auburn Correctional Facility for a parole violation. He said he came to know Slocum when they were both in protective custody at the Washington County jail. The inmate said when he asked Slocum if he really committed the crimes, Slocum told him he was innocent. He said Slocum later blamed Colegrove, saying "the only thing he did is set the house on fire."

Therrien said Slocum eventually confessed the July 13 incident "ended with (Slocum) killing the family."

Under cross-examination, the defense asked Therrien if he asked authorities "What's in it for me?" in exchange for cooperating against Slocum. The inmate acknowledged he has a possible opportunity to help his status.

Closing arguments will be Thursday morning before Judge Kelly McKeighan. The jury will began deliberations following instructions from the judge.



Slocum charged with arson, murder in White Creek deaths

Suspect faces three counts of second-degree murder

By Don Lehman -

July 14, 2011

WHITE CREEK -- The local man accused of killing his mother, stepfather and stepbrother was charged Thursday with three counts of murder and two counts of arson after being returned to Washington County to make his first court appearance in New York in the case.

A felony arson charge against Matthew A. Slocum was filed early Thursday in White Creek Town Court, and White Creek Town Justice Phil Sica issued an arrest warrant for Slocum that led to him being charged as a fugitive from justice in New Hampshire, where he was arrested late Wednesday.

Police believe the three victims were shot to death before the fire was set, but a source familiar with the case said Slocum's girlfriend, Loretta Colegrove, told police she did not witness any shootings.

Slocum was arraigned before Sica late Thursday on three charges of second-degree murder, one charge of first-degree arson and one charge of second-degree arson, and was sent to Washington County Jail without bail. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

Though Slocum stared blankly at the floor for most the arraignment Thursday evening, he shook his head when Judge Sica read the murder charges that accused Slocum of shooting the victims with a firearm.

A pre-trial hearing in the case will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Colegrove, with whom Slocum fled the area early Wednesday, was not charged. Authorities said she cooperated with investigators after she and Slocum surrendered to police Wednesday night.

A source familiar with the case said Colegrove told investigators she saw Slocum start the fire that killed Dan A. Harrington, 41, Lisa C. Harrington, 44, and Joshua P. O'Brien, 24, all of Turnpike Road, Eagle Bridge. Lisa Harrington was Slocum's mother.

Police have not confirmed the victims' names, but The Post-Star received obituaries Thursday for all three victims.

Phyllis Taylor, who said she was Dan Harrington's aunt, was among the victims' family members who attended the arraignment hearing on Thursday night.

"I hope he rots in hell. I hope they make him suffer like they did. ... he's a cruel person," Taylor said.

Washington County Sheriff Roger Leclaire said Thursday that Slocum cooperated with investigators when interviewed late Wednesday. He would not elaborate on what that cooperation entailed.

The Sheriff's Office and State Police held a press conference Thursday afternoon, but offered few details.

"You've got to look at all of the facts, look at all the information and leads that come forward to build a case," Leclaire said.

Leclaire would not say what police believe the motive was for the fire, how or where it was set or whether further charges were expected.

State Police Capt. Steven James said forensic evidence collection was ongoing Thursday, and autopsy results are needed before police can confer with the district attorney's office about additional charges.

"There are a lot of steps still to be taken," he said.

The first-degree arson complaint filed in court lists as evidence the "police investigation" and offers no specifics of the proof.

Slocum, 23, could face 25 years to life in state prison if convicted of the arson count, making it as weighty a charge as second-degree murder. It alleges he set a fire that caused serious physical injury or death to another person.

Slocum was arraigned in a Keene, N.H., court on Thursday morning as a fugitive from justice and waived formal extradition proceedings. When a defendant waives extradition proceedings, he allows himself to be returned to the state where the charges are pending without a protracted legal process.

Slocum is being represented in New York by the Washington County Public Defender's Office. Public Defender Michael Mercure said his office was already representing Slocum on a pending noncriminal harassment charge in Greenwich Town Court, related to a threat made to another person.

It was unknown at press time to whom the threat was made or whether it was related to the fire case.

Mercure said he asked police Wednesday not to question Slocum without a lawyer from his office present. He would not comment further on the case.

Meanwhile, the bodies of the three victims were removed late Wednesday and autopsies were expected to be performed Thursday, Kortright said. Results of those autopsies were not available late Thursday.

Authorities hope to formally identify the victims and determine cause of death during the autopsy, he said.

"There's still a lot of work to be done," Kortright said. "The state (Bureau of) Fire guys say it will take all day (Thursday) to go over the fire scene."

Four vehicles from the state Bureau of Fire were at the remnants of the 118 Turnpike Road home through much of the day, with investigators using dogs to go over the charred shell of the home.

The three victims were found dead in the home after neighbors reported a fire at 4:09 a.m. Wednesday. Slocum shared the home with the family.

Slocum, Colegrove and her 4-month-old son were arrested Wednesday night at a house in Gilsum, N.H., where an uncle of Slocum lives, police said. They fled there in a Ford Mustang sedan that belonged to one of the fire victims, going to the home of Colegrove's mother in western Massachusetts before trying to hide in southwestern New Hampshire.

Leclaire praised the interstate police cooperation, which included "Amber Alerts" pertaining to the baby in four states.

"In my 38 years in law enforcement, it as one of the better cases I've seen as far as cooperation," he said.

Colegrove was released after questioning and was with relatives in Massachusetts on Thursday, Leclaire said.

A memorial of candles and flowers appeared at the top of the driveway of the rural home in the hamlet of Eagle Bridge.

Among the flowers was a bouquet from the staff of the Cumberland Farms store in Cambridge, where Lisa Harrington was a frequent shopper.

The store's manager, Carolyn Cody, said she was well-liked by the store staff, and the deaths had a big impact on residents of the area.

"Everybody's in shock," she said. "We just can't believe this happened."

Funeral services for the victims have been set for Monday at Cambridge United Presbyterian Church. Calling hours will be held Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m. at Ackley & Ross Funeral Home in Cambridge.

Reporter Jon Alexander contributed to this report.



Three die in suspicious fire in White Creek; 'person of interest' caught

By Don Lehman -

July 13, 2011

WHITE CREEK -- Three people died in a suspicious early morning house fire in White Creek on Wednesday, and a man police had been seeking for questioning in the fire was caught Wednesday night in New Hampshire, police said.

Matthew A. Slocum, whom police had been seeking throughout Wednesday, surrendered to officers who had surrounded his uncle's home in rural western New Hampshire at about 10 p.m., according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office. His girlfriend and son were also found unharmed, police said.

It was unclear late Wednesday if Slocum had been charged. Sheriff's investigators and New York State Police were in Gilsum, N.H., for the end of the search.

A manhunt for Slocum ensued after three people were found dead inside the burned home he shared with his mother, her husband and Slocum's stepbrother.

The victims were identified as a husband and wife, and the husband's young adult son, officials said.

Police would not say how they died, and would not comment on reports from neighbors that investigators had asked them whether they heard gunshots before the fire was spotted.

Police were withholding the names of the victims until autopsies were performed later Wednesday or early Thursday, but said they were believed to be residents of the home.

White Creek Town Supervisor Bob Shay said, however, that the victims included Dan Harrington, the town's deputy highway superintendent; and his wife, Lisa Slocum Harrington. Dan Harrington's young adult son, Josh Harrington, was identified by relatives as the third victim.

Shay said he met with highway workers on Wednesday to tell them of the news and discuss the department's operations. Both Harrington and his wife served on the town Recreation Commission, Shay said.

"They were good people. Dan was a real good employee," Shay said. "We all feel horrible. It's just so sad."

Police had sought Slocum, 23, after he could not be located following the fire. A car belonging to one of the victims was missing and police believed Slocum fled the area early Wednesday, before the fire was spotted.

Slocum is a felon who served a prison sentence for grand larceny between 2006 and 2010 and who acquaintances said has a history of mental illness, authorities said.

Police said Slocum, his girlfriend, Loretta Colegrove, and their 4-month-old son, Raymond, fled the area driving a black Ford Mustang with New York license plate DED1769. The car had a white horse emblem in its back window.

Slocum was said to possibly be armed with guns that were unaccounted for at the fire scene, but it was unknown at press time if any guns were recovered in New Hampshire late Wednesday.

Slocum was described as a white male about 6 feet tall and about 200 pounds, with swastika tattoos on his arms. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt with a skull and crossbones on it.

Police would not identify Slocum as a suspect on Wednesday night but called him a "person of interest."

"They (occupants of the vehicle) may be able to give some clues about this fire," Washington County Sheriff Roger Leclaire said of the occupants of the Mustang. "At this point we're not saying that (whether Slocum is a suspect), but we want to talk to the occupants of that vehicle about this fire."

Authorities said the three visited Colegrove's mother's home in Adams, Mass., at about 5 a.m. Wednesday, but left a short time later and had not been seen since.

Police were investigating a possible sighting of the vehicle in a wooded area of southwest New Hampshire late Wednesday afternoon. Police also had a possible sighting of the vehicle in Connecticut earlier Wednesday, which turned out to be unfounded, authorities said.

Police in New Hampshire surrounded a home in Gilmus, N.H., late Wednesday, near where the Mustang was found.

The home was that of an uncle of Slocum's. Colegrove and the baby came out of the house before 10 p.m., and Slocum eventually surrendered to police after a standoff of about four hours, officials said.

Colegrove's stepfather, James Sicotte of Adams, Mass., said Wednesday afternoon that police had asked them not to discuss the visit.

"All I can say is that we'd like to have Loretta and the baby returned safely," he said.

The couple had been together about a year, he said.

Washington County Undersheriff Matthew Mabb said police issued an Amber Alert later Wednesday in New York and Massachusetts to notify motorists and others to be on the lookout for the baby.

An Amber Alert is a procedure for rapidly publicizing the disappearance of a child.

The cause of the fire was labeled suspicious, and the State Police Major Crimes Unit and forensic technicians were dispatched to the fire scene, officials said.

Leclaire would not discuss the fire's cause or comment on the police questions to neighbors about gunshots.

The fire, which Leclaire said was "fully involved" upon firefighters' arrival, leveled about two-thirds of the house, which is hidden in the woods at 118 Turnpike Road in the hamlet of Eagle Bridge.

The blaze was reported by a next-door neighbor at 4:09 a.m. Police believe it began hours earlier though, and were trying to determine the time of death for the victims.

Neither Harrington nor his wife went to work on Tuesday, and officials were looking into whether that absence was related to the deaths.

Police said they believed five or six people were living in the house at the time of the fire, including the Harringtons and Slocum.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office, State Police and state Bureau of Fire are investigating. Firefighters from White Creek, Cambridge, Buskirk, North Hoosick and Johnsonville respond to the fire.



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