Edgefield community struggles with double murder-suicide

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News 12 at 11, October 31, 2007

EDGEFIELD, S.C- A quiet community is rocked by news of a double murder and a suicide that left three family members dead. It also left three children without a mother and sister.

For the Edgefield community, it's a bitter Halloween.

"This is a small community so anything that happens devastates the whole community," says Dana Boatwright.

It was at a Pickens Street home where the real horror was unleashed Tuesday. Police say 34 year old Alecia Arangilan and her 17-year-old daughter Jade were shot dead while they slept; each shot once in the chest and once in the head.

Officers say the killer, Alecia's husband Robert Herring, then turned the gun on himself. His body was found beside his wife's bed.

Investigators believe the crime happened sometime that morning,after Robert Herring helped to get his wife's other three children off at school.

"The saddest part for me is the teenage girl and the three kids left behind with no parents," says Donna Easler.

"I've seen them outside with the little kids. The parents, they were on the porch...Looked like a real nice little family there and come this morning to see it all blocked off, I'd just like to know what happened?" adds Doreen Huckaby.

And so would investigators, but its a question that may never be answered.

Most who knew the private family say they never suspected trouble.

Not even from Robert Herring. "He loved his family though. But, I don't know what the trouble was. But, I do know one thing, he was a good man." says John Peterson.

Robert Herring was a longtime Wackenhut employee. He resigned in May, after 17 years with the company.

Herring was arrested in May of this year on a public disorderly conduct violation. There were also several incident reports filed of a runaway juvenile from the home, but the Edgefield Police Chief says that juvenile was not the same teenager as the one who was killed.

Alecia Arangilon's other three children, ages 15, 11, and 7, are staying with relatives.

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