Residents and employees of Bethany Beach continue this week to wonder what happened to their neighbor and co-worker, 34-year-old Robert L. Wynn, to cause him to apparently kill his former fiancée and her current boyfriend in the woman’s Harbeson home on Saturday, May 7.
Wynn, employed with the town’s public works department and known by neighbors and co-workers as a friendly man, allegedly broke into the Harbeson home of 46-year-old Lisa D. Suthard around 4 a.m. on Saturday.
According to Delaware State Police Master Cpl. Jeff Oldham, Wynn was armed with a handgun at the time and told Suthard’s 13-year-old daughter to leave the home. She did so, fleeing to the home of a nearby family friend who then called 911.
Police said Wynn proceeded to a second-floor bedroom, allegedly confronting Suthard and Frank Cannatelli, 46, of Rehoboth Beach, who was Suthard’s current boyfriend, and shooting both before setting the house on fire.
Troopers arrived at the scene in response to the 911 call and discovered the home on fire and the suspect gone. They were able to enter the house and go upstairs, police said, but the fire and smoke was too intense for them to enter the bedroom.
According to Oldham, medical examiners’ reports indicated Suthard and Cannatelli died from a combination of gunshot wounds and injuries sustained in the fire.
Throughout the day, Delaware State Police Homicide Unit sought Wynn for two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He was considered to be armed and dangerous.
Troopers located Wynn’s vehicle about 7:10 p.m. on Saturday, near Snow Hill, Md. Inside, they found what they believed to be Wynn’s body, with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The body was later positively identified as Wynn and the gunshot wound confirmed as self-inflicted.
Oldham said police hadn’t determined a reason for the exact timing of the crime. The couple had been engaged, he said, but Wynn had broken off the engagement in November of 2004.
Suthard’s daughter is currently in the custody of her father.
The mood at Bethany Beach Town Hall was somewhat subdued early this week, as Wynn’s co-workers and neighbors puzzled over what had happened and took in both his alleged actions and his loss.
Former Mayor Bob Parsons said he had known Wynn “very, very casually” but had known him to be “a nice fellow.”
Events Coordinator Gloria Farrar said town employees were endeavoring to come to terms with the loss and were in the dark as to exactly what might have spurred Wynn’s actions. She said Wynn was not the kind of person one would have thought would commit such a crime.