Connecticut Murder Victims Had Local Ties

Article excerpt

The daughter and two granddaughters of a retired Butler County minister and his wife were killed in a horrific home invasion in Connecticut, authorities said.

Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, the daughter of the Rev. Richard and Mary Belle Hawke, of Slippery Rock, was strangled Monday at the home in Cheshire, Conn., near New Haven.

Hawke-Petit's two daughters -- Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11 -- died of smoke inhalation after the house was set on fire to cover the crime, police said. Her husband, Dr. William Petit Jr., 50, remained hospitalized last night with head injuries.

Richard Hawke is a former district superintendent of the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church based in Cranberry, said the Rev. Michael L. Kundrat, of Library.

Two men with long rap sheets who were on parole were arrested as they tried to flee the burning home.

Joshua Komisarjevky, 26, of Cheshire, and Steven Hayes, 44, of Winsted, were arraigned yesterday on a variety of charges. Bail was set at $15 million each.

The men were planning to burglarize the home when they broke in around 3 a.m. Monday and found the family inside, state police said. …