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Briton charged in killing of wife, baby

Arrested in England, he faces murder charges in Massachusetts


Great Britain
Boston (Massachusetts)

BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- The British man whose American wife and baby were found shot to death last month near Boston has been arrested in England, and charged with murder, officials said Thursday.

Neil Entwistle faces two counts of murder, one count of illegal possession of a firearm and one count of illegal possession of ammunition, said Melissa Sherman of the Middlesex County, Massachusetts, district attorney's office.

If convicted, he could face life in prison without parole. Massachusetts does not have the death penalty.

The 27-year-old was taken into custody about noon (7 a.m. ET) at a subway station in London. (Watch the alleged trail of the gun and the suspect -- 3:37)

At a magistrate court appearance a few hours later, he acknowledged the charges against him and said he did not consent to extradition to the United States. A bail hearing is set for Friday.

Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley said authorities believe Entwistle's wife, Rachel, and their 9-month-old baby, Lillian, were shot sometime during the morning of January 20 at their home in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.

"There's no indication in the past of trouble," said Coakley, describing the picture investigators got of "a young couple starting out on a happy future."

A spokesman for Rachel Entwistle's family said members were "shocked by the news" of the charges against her husband.

"Rachel and Lily loved Neil very much. Neil was a trusted husband and father, and it is incomprehensible how that love and trust was betrayed in the ultimate act of violence," Joe Flaherty read from the family's statement.

Flaherty said the family was "always confident that the case would be solved and those responsible would be brought to justice." (Watch family spokesman tell of their heartbreak -- 2:20)

There's not a clear-cut motive for the killings, but the investigation did turn up some "financial difficulty," Coakley said.

Entwistle had debts in England at the time he and his family left for the United States, Coakley said. The investigation also found that Entwistle "may have found himself in financial difficulty" in the United States after trying to start businesses "on the Internet, on eBay and also undertaking a lease and other financial obligations," Coakley said.

Authorities believe the killings were "possibly" intended to be a murder-suicide, "but we cannot confirm that," Coakley added. She said that the .22-caliber handgun used in the killings was registered to Joseph Matterazzo, the stepfather of Entwistle's wife, and that forensic information linked the gun to Rachel and also Entwistle.

"We know the defendant was aware" that Matterazzo owned guns, Coakley said, adding, "He had used that handgun with his father-in-law." Entwistle also had access to the gun, which was kept in a locked location, Coakley said.

Authorities say they believe Entwistle "secured" the gun before the killings and returned it to Matterazzo's home sometime during the late morning or afternoon of January 20, when no one was home, Coakley said.

"He was observed at Logan Airport" the next day, said Coakley. "He purchased a one-way ticket on British Airways at approximately 5 a.m. ... and was on an 8:15 flight to the United Kingdom that day."

Since his arrival in England, Entwistle had been staying at his parents' home in Worksop, about 150 miles north of London.

On January 22, the bodies of his wife and daughter were found shot to death in the rented home they had moved into just 10 days earlier.

The next day police found Entwistle's car in a parking garage at Logan Airport.

No signs of struggle, prosecutor says

Rachel Entwistle, also 27, was shot in the head and died immediately, and her baby was shot in the stomach and bled to death within minutes, according to the medical examiner's report. It said that a small-caliber weapon was used but that an exact time of the deaths could not be determined.(Watch why it's tough to figure out when they died -- 1:34)

The bodies were found on the bed in the master bedroom covered with bedding. There were no signs of struggle, Coakley said. "It just looked like an unmade bed," she said, explaining why the first two searches failed to find the bodies.

Entwistle and his family had lived in the United States four to five months and began renting their home on January 12.

Rachel Entwistle's mother last spoke to her daughter on January 19. Friends showed up for dinner January 21 and found no one home, and Rachel's worried family called police.

Authorities did a cursory check in the home but found no one that day.

When the family filed a missing persons' report, a more thorough search was conducted January 22 and uncovered the bodies.

About 500 mourners attended their February 1 funeral service. Neil Entwistle did not return to the United States to attend. (Full story)

Last month, Entwistle refused, on the advice of his attorney, to answer questions by investigators who had traveled from Massachusetts to England.

CNN's Paula Newton contributed to this report

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