More than 100 people gathered over the weekend to mourn the young woman, baby and adoptive father who were murdered in the gruesome end of the Pladl family incest saga.
Mourners in Dover Plains, New York joined for the wake and funeral of 20-year-old Katie Pladl, her 7-month-old Bennet and Katie's adoptive father Anthony Fusco, 56. All three were killed by Steven Pladl, Katie's father and husband, who then killed himself.
The obituary for Fusco says he was in the U.S. Coast Guard before working as a correctional officer at Federal Correctional Institution for Danbury, Connecticut for 20 years. After retiring, he worked part-time as a security guard for Securitas at the Cricket Valley Energy Center in Dover Plains.
“Tony devoted himself to the people around him,” the obituary said, adding that he was “ripped from the lives of” his wife and family.
Katie’s obituary noted she was a freelance artist who “created beautiful art throughout her life and was in the process of pursuing a career using these talents and passions. Katie loved all animals with a special fondness for rescuing stray cats.”
Katie and Fusco were found shot to death April 12 inside a pickup truck at an intersection in Milford, Connecticut, according to the News-Times in Danbury. Police said Plaldl’s father-turned-husband Steven, 45, killed them with an assault rifle.
Police found Steven's body in New York soon afterward. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.
Hours after those deaths were discovered, Bennet - the son of Steven and Katie - was found dead in the couple's Earlston Court, North Carolina home. It's not clear how the child died.
In November 2017, Katie and Steven were arrested and charged with incest and contributing to delinquency. Incest between adults convictions can lead to up to five years behind bars and contributing to delinquency can tack on an extra year. Each was released on $1 million bond. Steven was court-ordered to stay away from Katie.
Steven and his former wife had Katie in 1998. She was adopted by another family and grew up in upstate New York. But on her 18th birthday, she contacted Steven and her mother in hopes of reconnecting. She soon moved to their home in Virginia August 2016 and just months later, Steven and his wife separated. Last week, Katie's biological mother Alyssa Pladl told The Associated Press that she gave Katie up when she was 8 months old. She said Steven might have physically abused Katie as a baby.
“It was so hard to give her up,” she said, “but I had to because I wanted her to live and be happy.”
In September 2017, Katie and Steven gave birth to Bennet after moving to North Carolina.
[Photos: Wake County Sheriff]