A mother and her two daughters were hospitalized Wednesday after being stabbed by the girls' father at their Crofton home, Anne Arundel County authorities said.
Identified by their Crofton Meadows neighbors as the Esquetini family, all four members suffered stab wounds and cuts and were taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.
The female victims suffered injuries to the upper part of the body, with the mother, 49, and daughters, 20 and 13, reported in serious condition. The father was also in serious condition. He was under police guard at the hospital.
Property records indicate the house is owned by Ximena Oleas de Esquetini and Julio C. Esquetini Pabon. They live in the 1600 block of Forest Hill Court.
Shortly after 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, county police officers and Fire Department rescue crews responded to a telephone call from one of the daughters saying that she, her mother and sister were stabbed by their father, police said. According to neighbors, the mother was brought out from the home in a pressurized suit, and the daughters were in better condition.
Police with dogs searched the area for the 49-year-old father. He was found about 7:30 a.m. in the woods behind the townhouse complexin the 2400 block of Chelmsford Drive. Police said they had yet to determine if his injuries were self-inflicted.
According to Justin Mulcahy, a police spokesman, the department had no record of previous calls to the family's townhouse.
As neighbors — including students on their first day of summer vacation from public school — looked on Wednesday morning, officers and detectives congregated at the scene. Some had been awakened by ambulance and police vehicle sirens and screeching tires.
Jessica Puglise lives across the street from the family but said she did not know them well.
"They weren't really talkative to us," she said. "We never really saw any activity — just parents and kids."
Other neighbors said the family was quiet, with the parents quick to smile and say hello.
Several teenagers said they know the younger daughter from Crofton Middle School, where they said she had just finished seventh grade. They described her sister as a University of Maryland student. The adults limited the girls' television watching and encouraged them to read and study, the teens said.
"They're very smart," said Jacob Lerch, 15, a neighbor.
The parents, the youths said, were frequently seen walking together in the community.
"They were really nice people. Of all the people here, nobody would expect it to be them," said Jada Kegan, 15. "I can't believe something like this would happen, especially right next door."