The man who answered the phone in room 1029 at the Sheraton Baltimore North didn't sound like William Parente. He was short and dismissive and told Julieanne Malley that Stephanie Parente wasn't returning to their suite at Loyola College in Maryland that night.
"Steph is with her family tonight," he said, according to John Malley, Julieanne's father. "Good night."
It was 11:50 p.m. Stephanie Parente, 19, a sophomore from Garden City, was already dead, killed by her own father hours earlier, after he murdered her mother Betty, 58, and sister Catherine, 11, lining up the three bodies on a king-size bed at the hotel April 19, police said.
William Parente had already walked across the street to the Towson Town Center mall and purchased a set of knives at Crate & Barrel at 5:24 p.m., Baltimore County police have said. Some time after answering the phone, Parente, a 59-year-old attorney and investment manager whose financial business is under federal and state investigation, cut himself, bleeding to death in the hotel's bathroom, police said.
Malley, 19, and her suitemates - best friends who called themselves "The Mates" - were worried that night, worried because their friend "Little Steph" had a chemistry test the next day and her book lay open on her desk. They were so worried that the next day one of them called Parente's work phone to hear his voice mail, to make sure that the man who answered the phone was in fact William Parente, said John Malley of Caldwell, N.J.
Malley told his daughter not to worry, that if one of her roommates had called that late at night, he might have reacted the same way.
"She simply said, 'Dad, you don't get it. Mr. Parente isn't like that,' " he said.
Just before 3 p.m., a hotel manager opened the room door after the Parente family didn't check out the next morning.
"We have a dead body in one of our rooms, ma'am," said a calm male voice on a 911 recording.
"Any idea how this might have happened?" asked the operator.
"I don't know, I'm not going further into the room than what I just saw on the floor in the entrance," he said.
Police have not identified the objects that may have been used to kill the family. All three victims had been beaten and asphyxiated.
Monday Cpl. Michael Hill, Baltimore County police spokesman, said no further information would be released.
The Parentes arrived in Baltimore April 15 on a surprise visit to Stephanie, friends have said. The family was well-known among her suitemates and members of the crew team, to which she belonged in her freshman year.
"They would always come to the regattas," said Abigail Gotsch, of Bethlehem, Pa. "It was weird for a family to be at every single regatta . . . They just wanted to see their daughter."
April 18, Stephanie had breakfast with her family at a popular restaurant and was seen at a lacrosse game in the afternoon. She met them for breakfast the next day and returned to her dorm suite.
At 3 p.m. she was taking a nap, said Victoria Nguyen, mother of her roommate, Stephanie Nguyen. Some time after that, she left to travel five miles north to the hotel in Towson where her family was staying.