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Man Sought in 7 Killings Is Arrested

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From Associated Press

A 23-year-old man was arrested Friday on suspicion of killing his girlfriend, her five children and an acquaintance in what a shaken police chief called the worst mass murder in the city’s history.

Adam Matthew Moss was captured without a struggle as he hid behind a pile of plywood, Police Chief Joe Frisbie said after a frantic all-night search by authorities.

Police offered no motive for the slayings.

Neighbors in this Missouri River city of 84,000 said Moss could be friendly and helpful but that he had a history of violence. His brother filed a restraining order against him last week.

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The bodies of Leticia Aguilar, 31, and those of her children, ages 6 to 12, were found by a baby-sitter Thursday night at Aguilar’s home in a poor area of the city’s west side.

The bodies appeared to have been there for a few days, authorities said. Police would not say how they were killed, but Frisbie described the slayings as “brutal” and said officers would be offered stress counseling.

The sitter, Donna Stabile, said she went to the house when the children--Claudia, 12, Zach, 11, Larry, 9, Lisa, 7, and Michael, 6--didn’t show up at her home after school. She said she used a key she had to enter Aguilar’s home.

“When I walked in, the first thing I noticed was that their 32-inch TV was missing,” Stabile said. She then went upstairs and found the bodies.

“I saw two kids lying face down, and there was a lot of blood,” she said. “I could barely see them because the place was such a mess.”

The seventh victim was Ronald Fish, 58, the owner of a tire store and service station whose body was found at his home in a country club neighborhood.

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Police said Moss and Aguilar both worked at Smurfit-Stone Container Co., which makes cardboard and other paper products. The company said Moss recently quit.

Fred Scaletta, spokesman for the Iowa Corrections Department, said Moss received a year of probation in 1995 for assault with injury. In 1996, he was placed on two years’ probation for burglary and theft.

The restraining order Moss’ younger brother, Jason, obtained was for assault, said Charlene Peterson, a trial court supervisor. She would not provide details.

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