Police: son admits brutal killings of parents – news – New Jersey Herald
After many unanswered phone calls Sunday to Frank and Joyanne Warner’s Washington Township home, their daughter, Jennifer Schneider, and her husband, Jeffrey, visited them. After peering out a window in the Peregrine Drive house, the girl’s husband observed what could only be described as a heartbreaking scene, according to a criminal affidavit.
When the couple arrived home shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday, Jeffrey Schneider looked into the Warners’ garage and noticed their silver 2019 Kia Soul was missing. He then looked out the front window of the house and, according to the affidavit, observed his stepfather sitting in a chair in the living room with his head covered in a white plastic bag and his hands tied to the chair.
Newly released affidavit of probable cause for the arrest of Todd Warner, 53, who police say admitted murdering his parents, details the gruesome scene which included the use of baseball bats, plastic bags and a kitchen knife.
Warren County District Attorney Richard Burke announced at a press conference on Tuesday that his office had filed murder charges against Warner, initially referred to as a “person of interest” in the murder of his parents, both 73 years old and married for 50 years.
After seeing his stepfather in the living room of the house, Jeffrey Schneider removed his wife from the scene and she called 911, the affidavit states.
The officers arrived at the house and encountered a horrific scene. After observing Frank Warner through the window, sitting in a chair, motionless, with blood around his head and chest and a white plastic bag over his head, officers forced their way into the house and took confirmed that Frank Warner was dead.
In the back bedroom on the first floor of the house – located in the 55+ community of Village at Hawk Pointe – officers found the body of Joyanne Warner who had suffered “significant trauma consistent with assault,” according to the ‘affidavit. A broken baseball bat was found next to her, police said, and her head was covered with a white plastic bag.
Authorities say in the affidavit that two baseball bats were recovered: one made of aluminum and one made of wood. Warner hit his father with a bat and his mother with both before wrapping plastic bags around their heads “in an attempt to suffocate them.” according to the affidavit. He then went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and stabbed them both “several” times, police said.
Jennifer Schneider told authorities her brother sent her “alarming” text messages and a similar Facebook post saying he wanted to harm their parents, but the affidavit does not say when they were sent. She also told authorities at the scene that her brother was living with their parents and his car was still in the driveway.
Police traced a signal from Todd Warner’s cell phone near the Wind Creek Casino, verifying via video footage that he arrived at the casino around 10 a.m. Sunday – about eight hours before his parents were found dead at around 6 p.m. Sunday. While at the casino, Todd Warner allegedly got a Wind Creek Players card with his father’s credit card, then got a cash advance worth several thousand dollars (two affidavits show two separate amounts of 4 $ 100 and $ 8,000) using the same card.
At around 4 p.m. Monday, Warner was arrested while playing a game of blackjack at Parx Casino in Bensalem, Pa. His whereabouts between 10 a.m. Sunday and 4 p.m. Monday were not disclosed in the affidavit.
In an interview with Pennsylvania State Police officials at Trevose Station in Bensalem, Pa., Todd Warner confessed to the murders, detailing how he killed them, according to police. Inside the vehicle Warner had stolen from his parents, pants and shoes with possible bloodstains were found.
Warner has waived his extradition from Bucks County, Pa., And will be returned to Warren County on Monday.
In addition to two counts of first degree murder, Warner faces several counts of third and fourth degree, including possession of a weapon for an illegal purpose.
Warner faces 30 years to life on each of the murder charges.
Lori Comstock can also be reached on Twitter: @LoriComstockNJH, on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/LoriComstockNJH or by phone: 973-383-1194.