Authorities in Sacramento, Calif., arrested a 19-year-old man Wednesday in connection with the brutal slaying of his brother’s wife and two young children Tuesday night.
Deputies with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department took Grigoriy Bukhantsov into custody at around 2 a.m. Wednesday after they found him asleep at a Denny’s restaurant in Placer County.
On Tuesday, Bukhantsov’s brother found the bodies of his wife, his 2-year-old son and his 3-year-old daughter when he returned to the family’s Rancho Cordova home, about 15 miles east of Sacramento. He then ran to a neighbor’s home and called police.
"It was very clear the victims obviously met a very violent end," sheriff’s department spokesman Sgt. Jason Ramos told NBC News. "They all sustained injuries consistent with blunt-force trauma and they were all in close proximity to one another. Indications are that this was a swift attack but very violent."
A 6-month-old baby was found unharmed and taken from a different room of the house to be with relatives, police said.
Authorities had been searching for a 2005 Chrysler minivan that had been stolen from the family’s home after the attack and spotted it outside the restaurant.
There, they found Bukhantsov asleep in a booth with a plate of chicken-fried steak with gravy, the San Jose Mercury News reported. He was taken into custody, booked and interviewed.
“Based on that interview as well as what we have learned throughout the investigation since yesterday afternoon, we have arrested him for the murders of all three victims,” Ramos said. “We believe he is the only person responsible for this. We’re not looking for any outstanding suspects at this time.”
Police said Bukhantsov's brother is cooperating with the investigation, despite being distraught.
A mother and her two young children were found brutally murdered in their California home. One of the victim's sister speaks out. KCRA's Mallory Hoff reports.
Ramos described the manner of the attack as a "stabbing" and "slashing," but declined to go into further detail pending a coroner’s inquiry.
"[Bukhantsov] had strange relationships with other members of the family, something bad was brewing for some time,” Ramos said. “This is somebody who confronted a family inside their homes and took their lives very violently,” Ramos said. “It’s shocking, even to veteran law enforcement.”
The identities of the victims were not immediately released.
Authorities also have not identified the brother but California Department of Motor Vehicle records show Aleksey Bukhantsov was the registered owner of the 2005 Chrysler minivan, according to The Associated Press.
The AP also says Grigoriy Bukhantsov was “somewhat nomadic, living temporarily with various family members and may have even stayed with his brother’s family in the duplex where they lived.”
Bukhantsov is currently being held without bail at the Sacramento County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court on Friday afternoon.
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