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Classmates In Shock Following Montana Triple Slaying

April 22, 1986

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) _ A teen-ager rescued by police after her parents and younger brother were killed when a man allegedly gave them lethal doses of drugs has asked that police use a memorial fund in her name to fight crime.

Police discovered the bodies of David and Monica Rodstein, both 39, and their son Andrew, 11, Saturday night in a motel room, and said their daughter Amy, 15, was being held in a bathroom.

Construction worker David Thomas Dawson, 27, of Billings, has been charged with deliberate homicide, kidnapping and robbery in the case and was being held without bond Tuesday. A court appearance was scheduled for Wednesday.

Friends of the Rodstein family established the ″Amy Rodstein Fund″ at the First Interstate Bank in Billings in memory of the family.

But a relative said Amy, who was staying with friends, had asked that the fund be used to help Billings police fight crime, The Billings Gazette reported Tuesday without identifying the relative.

″She’s taking it well because she is so strong,″ said Lara Maichel, a sophomore with Amy at Billings Skyview High School.

In court documents Monday, Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Teresa McCann O’Connor alleged that the Rodsteins were murdered by ″lethal injection or strangulation″ and said Amy survived by at one point playing dead.

She alleged that Dawson injected a drug into both parents and then forced Andrew and Amy to drink water in which a pill had been dissolved. Amy poured hers out and pretended to be asleep, she said.

The Rodstein family was preparing to move from Billings to Atlanta last weekend and were staying in a motel when Dawson allegedly forced his way into their room early Friday, authorities said.

After forcing the Rodsteins into his room, next to theirs, Dawson bound and gagged the family, the charges said.

The Rodsteins were reported missing by relatives and co-workers Saturday and the family’s two cars were found Saturday night at the motel.

Court documents said that when police arrived, Dawson told the girl: ″Amy it’s OK. You can come out now. Thank goodness you have been rescued.″

The deaths strongly affected many students at Andrew’s school, Alkali Creek School.

″These kids are really hurting,″ said Alkali Principal Jan Richau. ″We had a good cry together. We just let the kids cry it out and hope they will work through their grief.″

″It’s difficult to explain that acts of violence can happen to innocent people,″ Richau said.

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