SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Police in the central New York city of Utica apprehended a man wearing no clothes fleeing the scene of a “gruesome” triple murder just after midnight on Wednesday, authorities said.
Paul Bumbalo, 21, was arrested running away from the murder scene hours after he was taken to a local hospital for medical evaluation and apparently released, Utica Police Chief Mark Williams said. He was charged with three counts of second-degree murder.
The bodies of one adult male and two adult females were found throughout the rooms of a first-floor apartment, the chief said.
The suspect, a Utica resident, is related to the victims, police said, but the department has not yet released the names.
Investigators want to find out why the hospital apparently released the suspect and if his mental health issues played a role in the murders.
Autopsies are expected to be performed on the bodies to determine the exact cause of death.
“Personally, I’ve been on this job 27 years and it’s one of the more gruesome scenes I’ve seen,” Williams said.
“A lot of cities in this country are struggling with the mentally ill,” he said. “Hopefully the more we investigate we’ll find out what his history’s all about, but I can’t say that that’s the case with this one.”
In 2014 there were six homicides in Utica, Williams said.