Mom shoots kids and family dog in bitter divorce and custody battle

Carola Arnau (Photo Source: Facebook/ Carola Arnau)

A bitter divorce and custody battle has led to a tragic double murder and suicide in rural Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Early Tuesday morning at approximately 3:00 a.m., police responded to a fire at a residence. Inside the home, they found the bodies of Carola Arnau, 40, her 10-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son.

Police are now saying Arnau shot her daughter multiple times in the head while she was sleeping and then shot her son multiple times in the body. The family dog was also shot and killed by the mentally disturbed mother. She then used an accelerant and set multiple fires around the residence and the detached garage her estranged husband was living in. After setting the fires, police say she shot herself in the head committing suicide. Dr. Stephen Diamantoni, the Lancaster County coroner, ruled the deaths of 40-year-old Carola Arnau and her two children a murder-suicide on Wednesday.

Arnau’s estranged husband and father of the children, Miguel Arnau, 45, was at work during the time of the murders and arson. He lived in the detached garage and shared custody of the children during the divorce proceedings.

Carola Arnau filed for divorce in February 2016 siding that their marriage was “irretrievably broken.” In 2017, she claimed her husband had inappropriate contact with their four-year-old son. The allegation was investigated by the Pennsylvania Department of Children and Youth Services and was dismissed as being unfound. Carola Arnau has been receiving mental health services recently and police are asking friends and family to come forward to describe her recent state of mind. Tragically, the gun and ammunition she used in the shootings were legally purchased this past Monday.

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.

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