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Mother Suspected in Murder-Suicide

January 2, 2000

MAHOPAC, N.Y. (AP) _ A woman deliberately left a car running to poison her husband and children with carbon monoxide, then shot them in their beds and killed herself with a shotgun, police said Saturday.

The family car was still idling in the garage when police found the bodies Friday, more than a day after the deaths.

JoAnn Gelsomino, 47, left a suicide note, but there was no clear motive, Town of Carmel Police Detective Randy Tompkins said Saturday. He wouldn’t divulge the contents of the note but said it helped police reconstruct the killings.

``She was just in that frame of mind that she decided to end it and take her husband and children with her,″ he said.

A preliminary investigation by a coroner determined that although all four family members suffered shotgun wounds, carbon monoxide poisoning was the principal cause of death for the husband, Ralph Gelsomino, 59, and the two grown children, Amanda, 26, and Anthony, 22.

Based on that information, police believe Mrs. Gelsomino started the car early Thursday while her family slept, then waited until they were unconscious before shooting them.

``If they had just been sleeping, then the first shots would have awakened the others, but they were all still in their beds,″ Tompkins said.

Police checked the house Friday afternoon after the veterinarian’s office where Amanda Gelsomino worked reported that she had not reported for work for two days and no one could reach her.

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