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Published: Tuesday, 7/24/2001

Arizona man charged with killing Ohio wife, children

PHOENIX - The husband of a former northwest Ohio woman has been charged with murdering her and her two children, but their bodies haven't been found, authorities said yesterday.

David Lamar Anthony, 54, of Peoria, Ariz., faces three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Donna Anthony, 53, her daughter, Danielle Romero, 14, and her son, Richard Romero, 12. Mr. Anthony is being held in a local jail in lieu of $500,000 bond.

Det. Bill Knight of the Maricopa County sheriff's office in Phoenix said Mr. Anthony was arrested Saturday after authorities obtained a search warrant for the couple's home.

While there, Detective Knight said investigators found blood on the walls, some of which had been covered up with paint. The detective said DNA tests have been ordered on the blood. Results are pending.

Authorities continue to search for Mrs. Anthony and her children, but Detective Knight said they are presumed dead.

He said they are looking for the family's washer and dryer, which are missing from the home.

Mrs. Anthony and her children have been missing since July 7 when they failed to board a 7 a.m. flight at Phoenix Sky Airport bound for Columbus. The trio planned to visit relatives in northwest Ohio.

When Mrs. Anthony and her children did not arrive in Ohio, family members contacted the sheriff's office on July 9. A day later, authorities found the dark green Chevrolet half-ton truck Mrs. Anthony was last seen driving abandoned at a strip mall parking lot in Phoenix.

During past weeks, Detective Knight said authorities repeatedly questioned Mr. Anthony about the disappearance. He told investigators it was not unusual for his wife to flee with her children.

Records show Mrs. Anthony, then known as Donna Martinez, previously lived in Van Wert and in Paulding. None of her family members could be reached for comment yesterday.

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