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Child Found Alone With Bodies of Mother, Stepfather

January 23, 1996

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (AP) _ After an apparent murder-suicide, a 5-year-old boy spent nearly a day alone with the bodies of his mother and her estranged husband, believing they were asleep and trying to wake them.

Steven Perez’s mother, Robin Berling, apparently was shot to death by her estranged husband, Arthur Berling, 28, who then turned the gun on himself, police said.

Earlier this month, Mrs. Berling, 31, got a restraining order against her husband, the boy’s stepfather, after she tried to break off the marriage.

Officers found the bodies on the floor of the master bedroom Sunday afternoon after the woman’s co-workers called police.

Police Detective Jesse Ybarra said Monday that the boy, who was later turned over to an aunt and uncle, never considered calling 911.

``He thought mommy and daddy were sleeping,″ Ybarra said.