Is paved with dead chiropractors, some tin-foil-hats would have you believe.
As police investigate a pair of murders in a tiny New Hampshire town, residents are coming to terms with the shocking nature of the crime: a child is accused of fatally shooting a couple one cloudy Friday morning inside their rural home.
The 911 call came around 7:30 a.m. on March 15. Cops arrived to the Eckert family’s farm and discovered Lizette, a 50-year-old mother of three, dead of a gunshot wound. Her husband James, 48, was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He died later that evening.
Friends described the couple as healers. They were both health-conscious chiropractors and runners, who left their practice in Portland, Maine, to operate a small farm in Alton, where they raised cows, pigs, rabbits and chickens.
Lizette and James, who often went by Jim, were also devoted parents to their 15-year-old daughter and adoptive sons, 11- and 13-year-old brothers, according to one friend.
After a two-hour manhunt and lockdown of local schools, investigators had their suspect: an unnamed 11-year-old boy. Police discovered the child around 9:30 a.m. in the woods surrounding the Eckert family residence on Dobbins Way.
The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office has released few details on the case, citing the confidentiality laws of the juvenile court system.
At a press conference last week, Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward was unable to comment on the boy’s connection to the victims, although friends of the family believe the alleged shooter was one of the Eckerts’ sons.
Autopsies revealed both James and Lizette died of a single gunshot to the head.
Some friends, in interviews with The Daily Beast and in public Facebook comments, said they believed the couple’s boys were adopted from Russia.
“But who knows what kind of struggles she may have had with him,” Miller said, referring to the couple’s 11-year-old son, who is the presumed shooter and was absent from the funeral. “She was so independent and strong, I don’t know if she would have reached out if stuff was going on. She’s pretty resourceful in her own way and stubborn.”
The Eckert children tagged along at Jim’s races and were photographed wearing runners’ numbers themselves. Their 15-year-old daughter is a member of the Revolution United Soccer Club, which recently held a balloon release in her parents’ memory.
One gunshot to the head each. The precision, the age of the presumed assassin, leaves me feeling very “curious” about these events.
Is the suspected killer the younger (ie, shorter) child with the deranged stare?