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UPDATE: Kids Find Parents in Homicide, Suicide

Police said that the couple had marital problems.

Update: May 2, 2012 at 1:23 p.m.

Four children returned to their North Bellmore home after school Tuesday afternoon to find their mother dead on the floor of the laundry room and their father locked in an upstairs bedroom.

Thomas Hayes, 43, stabbed his wife, Sherrelle Hayes, 44, and then hung himself, police said.

According to Homicide Det. Sgt. Greg Lesmeister, the couple's 13-year-old daughter was the first to arrive home and her father only spoke to her from behind the door. Lesmeister said Hayes instructed her to pick up her other siblings - ages 10, 9 and 7 - from school. When she and three other siblings returned to the Smith Avenue home, they could not get in the front door.

The children gained entry through another door and found blood on the kitchen floor. They then followed the blood trail and found their mother lying on the laundry room floor, according to police. They also saw a note and allegedly notified police.

The 13-year-old then went upstairs to the bedroom to look for her father, but the door was locked.

When police arrived on the scene, they found Sherrelle Hayes dead with three stab wounds and found Thomas Hayes in the upstairs bedroom, hanging from the ceiling. Thomas Hayes was transported to Nassau University Medical Center where he died.

Authorities said that they removed numerous items from the house, but they have not determined what Thomas Hayes used to stabbed his wife.

Police said that Sherrelle Hayes, who worked for an insurance company in Jericho, took her children to school that morning and then returned home. Thomas Hayes worked nights as a construction engineer in Manhattan, police said.

Neighbors told police that they heard the two arguing early that morning.

"We believe that Sherrelle Hayes was killed hours before she was found," Lesmeister said.

Lesmeister also said that there were problems in the Hayeses' marriage.

"There is absolutely some indication of it," he said. "There was a marital discord and some legal troubles."

Thomas Hayes was involved in an open larceny case involving the federal government and possibly made a plea not to serve jail time, Lesmeister said.

Neighbor Mike Sudlow told Patch that his 11-year-old daughter plays with the family's second oldest child. Sudlow said he has known the family for more than 10 years.

"I’m in shock," he said. "They seemed to be the nicest couple. If you were looking for your kids, you went straight to their house because all of the kids played there."

ellen May 03, 2012 at 10:51 PM
too sad for words. My prayers go out to the 4 children and family and friends left behind to pick up the pieces and try to make their life meaningful!
bellmore mom May 03, 2012 at 11:01 PM
May God watch over these four innocent children
Mitch May 04, 2012 at 03:04 PM
I agree Susan......terrible story all the way around. Obviously this man was a mental wreck and just wasn't thinking clearly when he committed this horrific act. Aside from all his financial problems, knowing his wife was running around with another man probably didn't sit too well with him at a time when he probably needed her support the most. Real men don't mess with other guys jobs nor their wives. All I'm saying is this boyfriend must feel terrible too.
Neighbor May 04, 2012 at 05:03 PM
I hope this guy burns for what he did to those children and to the community as a whole. Because of his selfish act I need to explain to my 7 year old that this piece of trash took the life of his wife and left his children with no parents. Is that something a 7 year old needs to learn? (Especially when she knows one of the children?) My sympathy lays only with the real victims in this mess....those 4 children.
Robin May 04, 2012 at 05:46 PM
So horrible to read this. Praying for the kids. We never know what goes on behind closed doors and what he should have done or she shouldn't have done is irrelevant. This obviously was not something planned and I hope these kids have good family or relatives to take care of them and help them through this. God bless these kids and all the pain and suffering they will go through.

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