PENNSBURG, Pa: The body of a murder suspect has been found near his home the day after he allegedly killed six of his relatives, according to the district attorney.
Bradley William Stone, 33, allegedly shot and killed his ex-wife and five of her relatives at three different crime scenes on Monday and police found his body in a wooded area near his home this afternoon, authorities said.
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri confirmed today that Stone was found dead after an apparent self-inflicted cutting wound in “the center part of his body.” His body was found about a half mile from his home.
Vetri went on to describe how each of his alleged victims died, which were a mix of gunshot and cutting wounds. The sole survivor of the attacks, Stone’s ex-wife’s 17-year-old nephew Anthony Flick, is in serious condition after sustaining “quite significant” cutting wounds to his head and hands but is expected to recover.
“They were defensive in nature and he was fighting off his attacker,” Vetri said of Flick’s wounds.
The Monday morning killing spree had prompted local and federal authorities to launch a manhunt in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
Vetri noted that after receiving emergency calls about the second and third crime scenes and “we started to make the connections to the victims at those two locations, we realized we had family members involved… [and] there could be some other targets.” Police then went to complete a well-being check at Stone’s ex-sister-in-law’s home and that is when they found the third crime scene, though they determined that the confrontation at that home likely happened first.
This afternoon’s discovery of Stone’s body came just hours after police held a news conference and released two new photos of Stone in the hopes of finding him.
In order to make the most recent photo they found on his cell phone during the investigation match their latest description of the suspect, Vetri said that authorities digitally removed the facial hair that he had in the photo because they believe he shaved recently.
The motives for the murders remains uncertain, but legal documents indicate that Stone and his ex-wife, one of his alleged victims, had been having custody issues over the control of their 5- and 8-year-old daughters.
Stone and Nicole Hill divorced in March 2009 and Montgomery County court documents show that they reached a shared custody agreement in April 2010 but there were some disputes over the arrangement in the years since.
The details from the documents are not publicly available, but earlier this month, Stone filed an emergency motion seeking custody. There was a resolution in the case on Dec. 9 but the specifics of that agreement were not available.
Vetri said that the court documents indicate that the couple had a “contentious, protracted” custody battle and the recent decision ruled in favor of his ex.
“He wasn’t getting his way and he was dissatisfied with that,” Vetri said, noting that it was absolutely not justification “for snuffing out these six innocent lives and injuring another child. This is just a horrific tragedy that we have had to endure.”
At this morning’s news conference, Vetri said that both of the couple’s girls, as well as Stone’s current wife and their daughter, are all safe.
Montgomery County court documents also show that Stone has been arrested three times — all related to charges of driving under the influence. Court documents show that a 2001 case ended with probation and the 2003 charge resulted in a mitigated judgment. He pleaded guilty to his most recent case in 2013 but was late in paying the resulting fines, court papers show.