Kentucky parents Benjamin and Simona Bulubenchi live in a rural area of Clinton County, where neighbors say most everyone felt safe.
But on Saturday, Clinton County Sheriff Jim Guffey said “the most horrendous crime” he’s seen in more than a decade occurred in their home, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.
The Bulubenchi family had nine children living in their home, alongside Simona’s brother, 33-year-old Emanuel Fluter.
One of the kids, 3-year-old Josephine, was in a room with four other children when her uncle entered and started an attack.
Her father heard the child’s screams over a baby monitor and rushed to the room.
Once there, he allegedly found that Fluter had slit his 3-year-old’s throat. The uncle then managed to cut Benjamin as well.
Police arrested Fluter and initially charged him with two counts first-degree assault. He was also charged with four counts of wanton endangerment because other children were present.
Josephine was taken to University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital, where she died from her injuries the following day. The Fayette County Coroner ruled her death a homicide.
Fluter has since had one of his charges upgraded to murder.
The uncle’s motive for killing his niece remain unknown, but Guffey said he didn’t appear to be under the influence. He told the Herald-Leader:
“He was not acting like he was on anything.”
A GoFundMe started for the family states that they wish to transport Josephine’s body to Michigan for a funeral. The campaign has raised more than $40,000 so far.
Fluter is currently being held on one million dollars bond.