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Cops: Father, daughter identified in double homicide case

Scene of double homicide inside Doane Street home

Scene of double homicide inside Doane Street home in Bellport Village on Oct. 6.   Credit: James Carbone

The man who took his own life after leading police on a chase the same day cops discovered two bodies at his Bellport home is the son and brother of the homicide victims identified by police Thursday.

Suffolk police identified the slaying victims as James Farnum, 79, and Amanda Farnum, 46.

James Farnum is the father of Amanda Farnum, and also the father of William Farnum, 43, who police said died from a self-inflicted wound after crashing his car into a utility pole in East Patchogue earlier this month, a department spokesman said.

Both deaths have been ruled homicides, police said.

Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer, the commanding officer of the Suffolk County Police Department’s Homicide Squad, said late Thursday afternoon, the investigation into the Farnum deaths is ongoing. But detectives "have no information that anyone else was involved," he said.

When asked if William Farnum is the suspect in his kin’s deaths, he said, "We hope to be able to prove that."

Detectives have not established a motive in the slayings and William Farnum’s suicide. "We don’t have any information of any motive, and unfortunately, everyone is dead," Beyrer said.

James Farnum and Amanda Farnum lived at the Doane Avenue home where their bodies were discovered, Beyrer said. William Farnum sporadically lived there, too, Beyrer said.

He declined to comment on how James Farnum and his daughter were killed and said there was no timeline for when the investigation would conclude.

Farnum was released last year to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision after serving over four years in an upstate prison on a second-degree attempted burglary conviction, records show. He was set to be under community supervision until August 2024, according to records, and had other recent misdemeanor charges, and a felony grand larceny charge, still pending against him.

On Oct. 6 at 10 a.m., a Suffolk police officer attempted to pull over Farnum’s 2003 Honda Civic at the intersection of Route 112 and Montauk Highway in East Patchogue.

Farnum pulled over, according to police, and a passenger who police did not identify "exited the vehicle before the driver left the scene."

Farnum’s Honda then crashed into the utility pole on Washington Avenue and when officers approached the vehicle, they found that Farnum had a self-inflicted and fatal wound to his throat.

Homicide detectives, attempting to notify the next of kin after Farnum’s death later Tuesday, entered Farnum’s home after nobody answered the door and found the two bodies.

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