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After slayings, he bought weapon

After a Garden City attorney and investment manager now accused of shady dealings killed his wife and daughters in a Maryland hotel room, he walked across the street to a home decorating store and bought the knife he used to commit suicide, officials said Friday.

Interviews with store staff and a receipt found in the Parente family's 10th-floor hotel room revealed that William Parente, 59, bought a set of knives at a Crate & Barrel Sunday afternoon in Towson, a Baltimore suburb, police said.

The store is across from the Sheraton hotel where the body of Betty Parente, 58, William Parente's wife of more than three decades, and their daughters, Catherine, 11, and Stephanie, 19, were found Monday.

All three had been beaten and asphyxiated. Evidence and the arrangement of the bodies - side by side on a king-size bed - showed Parente had placed them that way, police said.

Police believe Parente, whose investment business is under federal and state investigation, killed Betty and Catherine after a family breakfast Sunday morning. He then waited in the room for several hours for Stephanie to arrive.

Police believe she was killed in the same manner upon entering the room. The receipt indicated that a set of knives was bought at 5:24 p.m. "We think they were all dead by that point," said Baltimore County police spokesman Bill Toohey.

Early Monday, Parente cut himself with one of the knives. He bled to death on the bathroom floor, police said.

The Parentes arrived in Maryland April 15 on a surprise visit to Stephanie, a sophomore at Loyola College in Maryland.

Police said previously that a card-access key was used to enter the room about 4 p.m. Sunday. It was unclear who used the key card, police said.

"We don't know and we may never know the exact sequence of events in those last few hours," Toohey said.

Police removed a knife and several hotel-owned objects from the room.

Forensic tests on them are expected to take several weeks.

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