A Delaware teenager was arrested by Harrington police on Thursday for the murder of his father. Seth H. Ramsey, 17, was taken into custody after officers discovered his father, Todd Ramsey, deceased in the family home. Seth is accused of killing his father by shooting him once in the abdomen with a crossbow.
On 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, police were notified by Todd Ramsey’s co-workers in the HVAC facility on the Dover Air Force Base that he had not been to work for two days. When state troopers arrived at the home on Park Brown Road to check on the 41-year-old, Seth Ramsey confessed to the officers that he believed he might have murdered his father. After police detained Seth, they entered the home and discovered Mr. Ramsey’s body in a bedroom. He had been wounded in the upper part of his abdomen. Seth admitted to officers that he had shot his father with a crossbow. Mr. Ramsey’s cause of death was listed as an arrow wound to the stomach.
According to the affidavit filed by police, Seth Ramsey told officers that he had not gone to class at Lake Forest High School on Tuesday and instead stayed home all day. Although his father remained in his own bedroom from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. that day, Seth knew that when his father came out of the bedroom and discovered that he had skipped school, he would be angry, “so he shot him.”
On Friday, Master Corporal Gary E. Fournier declined to confirm the details in the police affidavit. He cited the ongoing investigation and said that the motive or the timeline of events had not been definitely established yet.
Crossbows are not commonly used as murder weapons, but cases do exist. A 69-year-old woman in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, was fatally shot with a crossbow by an ex-boyfriend, who then shot himself with the same weapon. A 911 call on Apr. 10, 2013, reported that David Lee Stensrud, 56, had confessed to the caller that he had murdered Geraldine Kading, 69, and was going to commit suicide. When police arrived at the scene, they discovered the body of Kading with an arrow protruding from her chest. Stensrud was discovered on the bathroom floor. He also had an arrow sticking out from his chest, and a crossbow was discovered nearby. Stensrud was taken to a hospital and survived his injury.
Stensrud was charged with first-degree murder and pleaded guilty. He received a sentence of over 38 years in prison. He testified that when Kading and he broke up, he could not face life without her. He shot her and himself in the hopes that both would go to heaven and he could spend time with her there.
The weapons also make an appearance in the case of England’s notorious “Crossbow Cannibal” killer, Stephen Griffiths, who used a crossbow to kill three prostitutes in 2009. He chopped up their bodies in his bathtub and ate portions of them both raw and cooked. The dismembered bodies were then dumped into the Aire river.
Griffiths was caught after security cameras captured his last murder on tape. In Dec. 2010, the 40-year-old man pleaded guilty and was given a life sentence.
Seth Ramsey has been charged with possession of a deadly weapon and first-degree murder. Although he is being charged as an adult, he is currently being held without bail in the Stevenson Detention House, a juvenile facility located in Milford. There is no word on when he might appear in court to face the charges against him.
By Jennifer Pfalz