A Riga woman remains in guarded condition after authorities say her son attacked her Wednesday.
Investigators say Arnold Ford Jr., 52, of Penfield first bludgeoned his wife to death Wednesday at their home near Ellison Park. He then used his wife's car to drive to Riga and brutally beat his mother, 75-year-old Florence Ford. She remains in a hospital.
After attacking his mother, Monroe County Sheriff's investigators say Ford then drove to near Erie, Pennsylvania and, using a firearm registered to his wife, took his own life near a truck stop parking lot Wednesday afternoon.
A friend of the Fords was among those who passed by their Collingswood Drive home in Penfield Thursday.
Jena Marie Bacot and her children, Schiloe and Joah, left roses at the Ford's doorstep. Bacot met 51-year-old Wendy Ford at prayer meetings and attended bible study at the Ford's home. She said the Fords were kind to her over the 15 years they were friends.
"You know, when you don't know a person, it's easy to judge, but when you know them it's different," Bacot said. "You watch the news and you know this person killed, whatever. You're like, this must have been a bad person, whatever. But these were good people."
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office credits Arnold Ford Jr.'s employer with tipping authorities to potential trouble. It received an email from Ford saying he wouldn't be at work. Staff at the employer contacted police and checked on Ford at his home near Ellison Park Wednesday morning.
Authorities responded to a home on Collingsworth Drive in Penfield around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday after Arnold Ford's employer reached out. Once inside the home, deputies discovered a woman, deceased, and then determined the incident as a homicide.
Less than an hour later, deputies responded to a home on Leibeck Road in Riga, where deputies discovered Ford's mother. She was taken to a Rochester hospital with injuries described as life-threatening. There, deputies said she was in critical condition.
The two crime scenes are about 30 minutes apart.
Ford was identified through license plates, and a vehicle was later tracked to the state of Pennsylvania, heading west past Buffalo on the Thruway. There, police said Ford was found slumped over a steering wheel inside a vehicle at a parking lot, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A handgun was recovered in the vehicle.
Police said the preliminary investigation determined both victims were wounded on Wednesday morning, and that the quick response of investigators at the initial scene in Penfield may have saved the life of the victim in Riga.