In the case of a British man accused of killing his American wife and daughter a police officer followed a foul odor in the house to discover their bodies curled under a thick comforter.
Officers followed the stench from the basement to the second floor to find the bodies of Rachel Entwistle and her 9-month old daughter, Lillian Rose Entwistle, police Sgt. Michael Sutton testified in Middlesex District Court.
"The first thing I saw was a small child's face, a baby's face," the Hopkinton, Massachusetts officer testified.
Sutton testified in a hearing on a defense motion by lawyers for Neil Entwistle, who is charged in the January 2006 shooting deaths of his wife and daughter. Prosecutors have previously disclosed information about how the bodies were discovered, but not with the level of detail described by Sutton in court.
Sutton described finding the bodies in the master bedroom of the Entwistles' rented Hopkinton home, on a bed.
"The first thing I thought was, that the baby had been beaten because of the bruising," Sutton said, describing the child's face as "mottled."
"The baby had been dead for some time," he said.
Prosecutors have said they believe Entwistle killed his wife and daughter because he was despondent after accumulating tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and that he had expressed dissatisfaction with his sex life.
They also have said Entwistle, 28, may have planned to commit suicide, but instead fled to his parents' home in England.
Entwistle's defense team argued in court papers that any evidence taken from the home and his car was seized illegally and should be suppressed at trial because police lacked a warrant. Prosecutors said police were justified in entering the home because they were responding to family members' pleas.
Police initially went to the Entwistles' home on Jan. 21, 2006, after friends showed up for a dinner party and no one answered the door. Police looked in the upstairs bedroom - where the bodies were later found - but did not see anything suspicious.
The next day, police visited the home a second time, after Rachel's mother filed a missing person's report. During that search, police detected an odor and discovered the bodies.
Because police did not have a warrant for the initial two searches, 10 subsequent searches of the home, Entwistle's car and his computer files were illegal, his attorneys argued.
Judge Diane Kottmyer heard roughly four hours of testimony on the defense motion Monday before scheduling a hearing for May 9 for additional oral arguments, if needed. There was no indication when she would issue a ruling.