Police say small-town theater director killed four family members and himself

Saturday, December 15th 2001, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

LOWELL, Ind. (AP) _ A small-town theater director fatally shot his wife and infant daughter as she was bathing the child, then drove to his parents' home and killed them before taking his own life.

Jeffrey Wein's sister and brother-in-law discovered the bodies in the older couple's home Friday morning when they stopped by with plans to go holiday shopping.

Police later found the bodies of Wein's wife and daughter at the family's home about three miles away in Lowell, a rural northwestern Indiana town of about 7,500.

``We have no motive at this time. This is just a tragedy for the entire community,'' said Lowell Police Chief David Wilson.

Police believe Wein, 30, committed the four slayings Thursday morning, then shot himself. Officers found the makings of a pancake breakfast in the kitchen near the body of John Wein, 66. Marie Wein, 65, had been shot to death at the top of the basement stairs.

Jeffery Wein's sister told police she had called her parents Thursday night but no one answered the phone. When she opened the door Friday morning, she found blood on the floor. Her husband went inside and found the bodies.

Jeffrey Wein was found dead in his parent's dining area next to a 12-guage shotgun he had bought the day before.

Police were still trying to determine a motive.

He and Kristin Wein, 31, had been married for about a year and a half, a second marriage for both. She taught fifth-grade in nearby Hobart, but was on maternity leave to care for the couple's 20-week-old daughter, Emma Marie.

``She was an enthusiastic and dedicated teacher who just loved her students,'' said a shaken Shannon O'Brien, the principal at Liberty Elementary School where Kristin Wein taught.

Jeffery Wein had worked at Forward Telecom of West Chicago, Ill., and had directed local musicals, including a performance last month at his alma mater, Lowell High School.

William McIlree, who sold his home to the couple this summer, said he was shocked by the slayings.

``They were all real nice,'' McIlree said. ``It's a very shocking thing. I just can't believe it. Everybody that lived there is dead.''

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