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After Incest Arrest, Man Kills Himself, His Daughter, Their Son and Her Adoptive Dad with AR-15


A father and daughter who were in the news in February after being arrested for having an incestuous relationship that produced a child are dead, along with their 7-month-old son and the woman’s adoptive father.

Steven Pladl, 43, a day after his daughter Katie Pladl, 20, broke up with him over the phone drove to New York on Thursday with their young son Bennett, shot and killed her, and her adoptive father, 56-year-old Anthony Fusco, with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

He fired into the car they were in from his vehicle, police said. He then drove 16 miles to Dover, New York, killed his son, and called his mother to tell her that before taking his own life with the rifle, WNCN reported.

Katie Pladl and Fusco were found dead in Connecticut. It’s not clear yet how the baby was killed.

Steven Pladl bonded out of jail in March, where he was doing time for incest with adult, adultery, and contributing to delinquency. Katie Pladl was staying with her adoptive family in New York after she bonded out.

The 911 call made by Steven Pladl’s mother on Thursday is chilling.

“My son just called me and, ah, he told me he… oh my God… He killed his baby and he’s in the house,” she said. “His wife broke up with him yesterday over the phone. She’s in New York and he told me he was on his way and after bringing the baby to her and then he was coming back.”

“He killed his wife,” the call continued. “He killed her father and I can’t even believe this is happening,” she said, distraught.

Law&Crime previously put together this timeline of Steven and Katie Pladl’s relationship:

  • Katie Pladl was given up for adoption after she was born.
  • She first met her birth parents when she was 18.
  • Steven Pladl allegedly started sleeping in Katie Pladl’s room, her mother said, according to authorities.
  • He legally separated from the mother in November 2016, and she moved out.
  • The mother read one of her children’s journals, which said that Katie Pladl was pregnant, and Steven Pladl was the father.
  • Steven Pladl told the children to call Katie Pladl the stepmother.
  • When the mother confronted her ex about this, he allegedly told her that yes, he was the father, and he planned to marry Katie.
  • The children told the Henrico County Child Advocacy Center on May 31, 2017, that they were told that their dad was the father of Katie Pladl’s baby.

A year later, they were arrested for incest. Two months after that, they are all dead.

“We are heartbroken, and saddened over the death of this child and like you, we are trying to make sense of all the factors that led up to this senseless taking of life,” Knightdale Police Chief Lawrence Capps said of the triple murder and suicide.

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.