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A Massachusetts man brutally killed his girlfriend as her two young daughters helplessly watched earlier this month before he then tried, and failed, to kill himself, prosecutors in Pennsylvania allege.
Thadius McGrath, 35, stand accused of murder in the first and third degrees, endangering the welfare of a child, recklessly endangering another person, and possession of an instrument of crime over the June 8, 2022 slaying of 31-year-old Samantha Rementer.
“This man murdered Ms. Rementer in front her children, then unsuccessfully tried to take his own life,” Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub alleged in an arrest announcement on Tuesday. “I cannot think of two more cowardly acts. He will now be made to pay an exacting price for his crimes.”
According to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by Law&Crime, McGrath beat Rementer with a “black step ladder” and then strangled her with the cord of a floor lamp until she turned “purple” insider her daughters’ bedroom. After that, he shot himself in the head, police said. The defendant allegedly confessed to his crime – saying he attacked the deceased woman because she made him upset.
The incident occurred in the Holland neighborhood of Northampton Township, Pa. Police reportedly responded to the residence in question after the defendant’s mother called 911 over a conversation hours before in which he allegedly expressed suicidal thoughts.
Arriving officers were greeted by a child covered in blood.
“[McGrath] killed Mommy because she was annoying him and then [McGrath] shot himself accidentally,” the 5-year-old girl told police as they walked into the house.
Officers found the 2-year-old girl still strapped into her high chair in the dining room. The mother was discovered unresponsive and lying on a bedroom floor with the lamp cord still around her neck. In addition to the obvious strangulation, she also appeared to have suffered blunt-force trauma to her face, police said.
Paramedics pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
In another bedroom, the defendant was found on the floor, bloody, with a 9mm pistol at his side. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where medical staff determined that he shot himself in the face.
The children have since been placed in the custody of Samantha Rementer’s father, Bill Rementer, who described his daughter as a caring and loving mother who had recently overcome a tragedy herself. In February 2021, the father of her two daughters died of a heart attack.
“We’re trying to find a new normal,” Rementer told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I’m 68, and suddenly my wife and I are parents to a 5-year-old and 2-year-old, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
The grieving father started a GoFundMe to help raise funds for the girls’ future, he told Law&Crime.
“Everything will go to them,” the elder Rementer wrote on the fundraising page.
McGrath was finally interviewed by police earlier this week.
During that interview, he allegedly said he killed Rementer after she made him mad, according to the probable cause affidavit. The older girl begged him to stop what he was doing, police say the defendant remembered.
“Please stop,” the girls pleaded, according to the affidavit. “Please stop you are killing my mom.”
An autopsy determined the victim had died from ligature strangulation, authorities said.
McGrath was arraigned this week before Magisterial District Judge Leonard Brown. He is being detained in the Bucks County Correctional Facility without bail.
[image courtesy Bill Rementer]
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