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Police: Love triangle led to homicides in Lothian

Three people have been arrested for the deaths of two people last week in Lothian, including the wife of one of the victims and a 13-year-old girl.

Anne Arundel County police say a love triangle led to a double homicide in the community of Lothian and to the arrest of woman and two teenagers on charges related to the killings.

Police charged Ann Marie Anastasi, 42; Gabriel Ezekiel Struss, 18; and a 13-year-old girl in the deaths of Anastasi's husband, Anthony Anastasi, 40, and Jacqueline Riggs, 25.

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Anthony Anastasi and Riggs were found dead in the Anastasis' home on West Bay Front Road on Oct. 5. Anastasi's body was in the master bedroom; Riggs was found in the basement, where she lived.

Charging documents state that Ann Marie Anastasi told authorities her husband had committed suicide, and police found a .45-caliber handgun on the bed next to him. He died of a gunshot wound, according to the medical examiner, while Riggs died of multiple cut and stab wounds.

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Ann Marie Anastasi and her husband had both been involved with Riggs, but the couple's marriage, which was "fraught with conflict and domestic abuse," became more strained as the wife fell out of the love triangle, according to charging documents.

The Anastasis had been married for 18 years, and the family includes five children.

Riggs moved into the home over the summer, which police said caused tension in the household. Authorities believe Anthony Anastasi and Riggs were still engaged in a sexual relationship, but Ann Marie Anastasi was no longer involved.

Police allege that Ann Marie Anastasi and the 13-year-old girl conspired to have Riggs and Anthony Anastasi killed, and enlisted Struss to help commit the crimes.

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Charging documents state that forensic exams found gunshot residue on both Ann Marie Anastasi and the girl, and also determined that the .45-caliber handgun didn't fire the .380-calber projectile removed from Anthony Anastasi's body.

A review of phone records showed the wife, the girl and Struss discussed the killings over text messages, according to charging documents. In one text, Struss told the girl she shouldn't talk to police or he would go to jail for life. In another exchange, the teens discussed the girl taking the fall for Struss.

Ann Marie Anastasi and the 13-year-old were arrested Thursday. Struss was arrested early Friday.

News of the arrests and the circumstances of the case attracted news media throughout the region — police said they received complaints from homeowners on West Bay Front Road about camera crews on their property.

"Cases like this are very rare," said county police spokesman Lt. Ryan Frashure. "This case could have very easily been construed as a murder-suicide, but [with] the due diligence of the first responding patrol officers and the detectives that investigated the case, we were able to determine that the evidence just did not add up."

Anne Arundel District Judge Thomas J. Pryal ordered Ann Marie Anastasi held without bond at a hearing Friday in Annapolis. She appeared in court via a live video feed from the Jennifer Road Detention Center in Parole.

Anne Arundel State's Attorney Wes Adams argued against her release on bail, alleging that she had conspired with the teens and was "instrumental" in a subsequent attempt to cover up the crimes.

"Miss Anastasi is very dangerous," Adams said.

She is charged with two counts each of first- and second-degree murder, as well as using a firearm in the commission of a violent crime. Struss has been charged with first- and second-degree murder as well as conspiracy and gun charges, according to court records.

Struss' bail review will take place Monday, Adams said.

The 13-year-old is charged as a juvenile with two counts of first-degree murder and accessory after the fact, police said.

A person who answered a telephone number for the Struss family said they did not have any comment and hung up.

Reached by telephone Friday at his home in Florida, Ann Marie Anastasi's father said that he spoke to his daughter several times after the bodies were found and that she "seemed to be doing reasonably well." He said he had not talked to her since she was arrested.

He said the couple moved to Maryland from Michigan about two years ago, but he wasn't in regular contact with them. He said his daughter had been working as a personal assistant, and his son-in-law had been driving a truck.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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