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'Remorseful robber,' now accused of murder, surrenders to Mass. police
The man known as New Hampshire's “remorseful robber” after returning a woman's stolen wallet, money and GPS is accused of fatally stabbing his longtime girlfriend repeatedly in a fit of rage inside her Burlington, Mass., home Thursday night.
Christopher Piantedosi, 39, of Methuen, Mass., was arrested Friday afternoon on one count of murder after turning himself in to Massachusetts State Police.
“Based upon the physical evidence and based upon the observations of the investigators at the scene, this killing was the result of a very angry rage,” Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone told a news conference after a manhunt that ended when Piantedosi pulled into the state police barracks in Weston, Mass., around 1 p.m. Friday.
Piantedosi, who will be arraigned in the killing Monday, is the same man who remorsefully admitted to stealing a Hampstead woman's wallet and GPS from her purse while she was shopping at the Plaistow Market Basket on July, 18, 2011.
He later mailed the wallet back to her and then showed up at her house to return her $90, plus an extra $10, wrapped in an apology letter, along with her stolen GPS and a new charger. Piantedosi signed the letter “Stupid” and was later dubbed the “remorseful robber” by Plaistow police. He eventually turned himself in.
According to authorities, Burlington police responded to 23 Forbes Ave. at 6:45 p.m. Thursday for a report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, officers found a woman, identified as Kristen Pulisciano, 38, who lives at the home. She suffered multiple stab wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
The killing comes seven months after Piantedosi was given a suspended 30-day jail sentence on a misdemeanor theft charge in the 10th Circuit Court in Plaistow last September.
In an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader after entering his plea in that case, Piantedosi said he hoped to put his mistake behind him.
“I want to get this over with. This has ruined my life,” he said.
Piantedosi, who said he was a father of two teenagers, claimed that he wasn't a “professional purse snatcher” and that the Plaistow theft was his first, though authorities weren't convinced.
“That's not what I do,” he said. “That was my first rodeo and I had a short career. Professional thieves don't return their loot.”
Piantedosi also told the paper that writing the apology letter was “just me spilling my guts. I had to apologize. This isn't me.”
In his apology letter, Piantedosi hinted at some troubles in his life. He told the Union Leader that he had some financial problems while he was in between jobs after being laid off.
He also spoke about the aftermath of the theft case and the publicity surrounding it.
“This has affected my family. This has affected my job. They told me they'd call me when they need me. I went for an interview and they Googled my name and everything came up from every news station so they disqualified me,” he said.
Leone said Massachusetts investigators have been speaking with New Hampshire authorities about the details of last summer's theft case, but added that the incident “doesn't really relate to the nature of what we're talking about today.”
“We can't now know exactly what triggered this heinous act of murder. We do know that there were some issues and some problems and some indicators of violent acts, exercise of power and control by this defendant against this victim leading up to the murder,” Leone said.
Plaistow Deputy Police Chief Kathleen Jones said her department has not yet been contacted by Massachusetts authorities.
Jones said she was “probably as surprised as anyone” over the murder allegations.
“I would have a difficult time trying to relate the type of crime that happened here to something as egregious as what happened in Massachusetts,” she said.
Piantedosi wasn't living at the Burlington home at the time of the murder.
Leone said a 15-year-old daughter made the call for help, but it's not clear whether she was inside the home and witnessed the killing.
Leone said the girl and a 20-year-old man who also lives there have been described as a son and daughter, but he couldn't confirm their relationship to either Piantedosi or Pulisciano. Piantedosi told the Union Leader in September that he had two teenagers.
Leone said the murder weapon was found at the scene. “Significant electronic evidence” was also recovered that will likely play a role in the investigation, he said.
No restraining orders were taken out by the victim prior to the killing, Leone said.
Burlington Police Chief Michael Kent said the only other time that his department had responded to the residence was on March 23 when police were called because of a dispute over ownership of a vehicle, which belonged to Piantedosi.
Leone said Piantedosi worked for a delivery service, but that he doesn't believe he was working for the company at the time of the killing. Piantedosi previously told the Union Leader that he delivered lost luggage for Logan International Airport.
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