Sergeant describes grisly find inside Entwistles' bedroom

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Franci R. Ellement
Globe Correspondent / June 12, 2008

WOBURN - With each layer of bedding from the queen-sized, four-poster bed in the middle of the Entwistle bedroom, State Police Sergeant Mary Ritchie found increasingly grim discoveries that culminated with the lifeless bodies of a mother huddled with her baby daughter.

Under a white comforter heaped on the bed was Rachel Entwistle, 27, in her pajamas resting on her left side, her mouth slightly discolored and her right arm extending across the chest of 9-month-old Lillian, who was on her back and dressed in a sleeper, said Ritchie, a crime lab supervisor.

State Police and Ritchie processed the crime scene after Hopkinton police initially found the bodies.

Pulling off the blood-stained pillow, Ritchie said she uncovered Lillian's face. She saw bruising around the baby's eyes, Ritchie said.

Lillian had been shot in the abdomen, prosecutors said.

The last layer, a white sheet, concealed only Rachel's body. The crime lab later identified two punctures in her chest, Ritchie said.

The medical examiner concluded she had been shot in the head.

The grisly findings filled most of yesterday's dramatic 3 1/2 hours of testimony in Middlesex Superior Court in the trial of 29-year-old Neil Entwistle, charged in the killings.

Prosecutors say Entwistle, overcome with financial problems and sexually unsatisfied in his marriage, shot his wife and daughter to death on Jan. 20, 2006, and then flew to his native England. He was brought back to the United States the following month to face charges.

The bodies were found in the late afternoon of Jan. 22, 2006, a day after Entwistle fled, by the same Hopkinton police sergeant who had done a wellness check of the home a day earlier and found no sign of foul play.

"I then lifted the corner of the comforter closest to me," said Sergeant Michael Sutton. "I observed what appeared to be an adult foot."

Having made his way to the head of the bed, in the middle of the room, he raised the comforter again.

"I first observed a small baby's face - forehead," Sutton said. "I looked to the right of the baby's face and saw a woman's face."

Entwistle's lawyer, Elliot Weinstein, criticized Sutton for failing to find the bodies the day before.

"Your purpose was to see if anyone was home," Weinstein said. "You were to see if anyone in the house might need assistance. You were there to see if someone in the house might need the assistance of someone with medical training.

"But you had to do a thorough search," he added, ". . . and you didn't. You know, it's clear you didn't do a thorough job."

Ritchie, who is qualified as a fingerprint specialist, also testified that 10 kinds of fingerprints were found on the .22-caliber Colt pistol that prosecutors say killed Rachel and Lillian, but that none could point to the person who pulled the trigger.

Prosecutors say Entwistle took his father-in-law's gun to kill his family and returned it before Joseph Matterazzo and his sons went target shooting and cleaned the guns the next day.

While testimony was delivered almost in a scientific manner, the descriptions were disturbing.

The courtroom fell silent as local and State Police testified how they discovered and viewed the bodies.

Jurors listened intently. Some took notes.

Entwistle's mother, Yvonne, who has flown to the United States from England with her husband, Clifford, and their son, Russell, for the trial, left the courtroom for the second time in two days.

This time, she walked out when Sutton began talking about the odor in the house that led him to the bodies.

On Tuesday, Yvonne Entwistle left red-faced and crying after a witness described how struck she was by the couple's love for one another and their baby.

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