Father's Notes Detailed Financial Trouble: Sheriff

Wife, three kids died of gunshots to their heads

FREDERICK, Md. -- A Middletown man who shot his wife, three children and himself left six notes discussing his family's financial hardships, Frederick County Sheriff Charles Jenkins said.

In four of the notes, Christopher Wood wrote of his love for his family and apologized for his actions. In a fifth, he apologized to his wife's mother, father and sister. And in the sixth, the suicide note, he wrote about his anxiety over his financial trouble.

The family was about $450,000 in debt, including a home in Florida they were trying to sell, Jenkins said. Woods made $97,000 a year.

The cause of death for all five was a gunshot wound to the head area, Jenkins said, but they also had cut wounds and made with either a kitchen knife or a pruning saw.

Francis Billotti Wood, 33; her sons 5-year-old Chandler and 4-year-old Gavin; and her daughter 2-year-old Fiona were last seen alive Thursday evening. Investigators believe they were killed overnight, the sheriffs' office said. Christopher Wood was last seen alive at about 9 a.m. Friday. He is believed to have killed himself shortly after that.

Authorities found the couple's two sons dead in their beds, and the bodies of Fiona and Francis Billotti Wood were in the master bedroom Saturday, Frederick County sheriff's office spokeswoman Jennifer Bailey said. On the master bedroom floor was Christopher Wood's body, she said.

Jenkins refused to speculate on a motive for the killing, though he says relatives told investigators that Woods was being treated for anxiety and depression. Medication prescribed to Christopher Wood was found in the home -- including antidepressants, anxiety medicine, and medicine for obsessive compulsive disorder and panic -- but it is unknown if he was on the medication at the time.

Francis Billotti Wood wrote in her blog that her husband needed to get out of his comfort zone, but it was causing him stress. Her last posting, dated April 1, said: "I am thinking that Chris and I will never agree on a new house to buy." She also talks about being blessed to be able to stay at home with her children and that she could give back to the community.

A Mass of Christian burial for the Wood family will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church, according to the Frederick News-Post. Viewings will be Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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