Adirondack Camping Village, located about two miles north of Lake George on Finkle Road, was the site of an apparent murder-suicide Monday night in which a man from western New York killed his two young daughters. Photo by Thom Randall
A man from western New York staying at a Lake George campground apparently shot his two young daughters to death Monday night and then committed suicide by shooting himself, authorities said.
Warren County Sheriff Bud York said that Adam P. Parcells, 29 of Hilton, NY shot the girls — Noel Parcells, 10, of Rochester and Mia Parcells, 3, of Hilton, before committing suicide with the same rifle.
“It’s a very sad day,” York said, noting that it was one of the most disturbing crimes he’d seen over his many years in law enforcement.
The three checked in Saturday Sept. 3 and spent the next several days at Adirondack Camping Village about two miles north of Lake George Village on Finkle Farm Road.
York said that the girls had two different mothers. York said that investigators believe Noel Parcells’ mother reported her daughter missing Friday to Rochester police. York added that he wasn’t aware of an Amber Alert being issued since then.
Mia Parcells’ mother and Adam Parcells might have been undergoing a process of separation, he added.
“I’m sure there is a huge history in the Rochester area,” he said.
According to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, public records indicate that the Parcells was experiencing financial difficulties, his wife filed for divorce in May, and his grandmother died Aug. 28.
York said it appeared that each girl had been shot numerous times Monday night in the tent, minutes before Parcells shot himself. They girls may have been sleeping at the time they were killed, he said. All the bodies were found in a tent containing camping gear and children’s belongings including books and a teddy bear, York added.
York said the owner of the campground had seen the hatch of Parcells’ Subaru Outback raised Monday and had assumed the group was leaving. But when Tuesday mid-morning on his rounds he saw the hatch in the same position, through the night’s rain, he became suspicious, inspected the campsite and saw the bodies and blood in the collapsed tent and called the police. The county Sheriff’s department was notified at about 10:30 a.m.Tuesday.
York said when Parcells shot himself, he probably fell against the tent side, pulling the tent down around the three of them.
York said that no one interviewed at the campground Monday said they’d seen or heard shots, but that the rainfall may have muffled the sound.
The gun Parcells used, a Hi-Point .45 caliber rifle, was purchased in July at Dick’s Sporting Goods in a store in the Rochester area.
York said that state Police in the Rochester area were participating in the investigation, which is ongoing. He added that an autopsy was to be performed Sept. 7 at Albany Medical Center.
A couple that was camping not far away from the apparent murder-suicide scene said Tuesday they’d seen Parcells when they went past the campsite at about 3:30 p.m. Monday in the pouring rain.
“He looked like an average working guy, an average Joe,” the man said, requesting that his name not be published. “It’s really awful to hear about those children — they had their whole life ahead of them and he took it away,” he said.