Friends shocked by deaths of Quebec wife, kids

Updated Sun. Jan. 13 2008 7:36 PM ET News Staff

Neighbours and friends set up a makeshift memorial Sunday in front of the Ohio home where a Quebec man is accused of murdering his wife and four children.

The family had moved to the city of Mason from Laval, Que., two years ago.

Husband Michael Veillette, 34, has been charged with four counts of aggravated murder, one count of murder, and aggravated arson.

The victims are his wife, 33-year-old Nadya Ferrari-Veillette, eight-year-old Marguerite, four-year-old Vincent, and three-year-old twins Jacob and Mia.

"She just liked everybody, she played with everybody," a little girl said of her friend Marguerite.

Relatives would not speak on camera with CTV Montreal. But Veillette's mother said she last saw her son when the family visited at Christmas, and she spoke with him on Friday, just hours before police arrived at his home.

She said there didn't seem to be any marital or financial problems. Mason police said there's no record that officers had ever been called to the home before Friday.

"There were no prior incidents at that residence," officer Craig Kline said by phone.

The house was on fire late Friday when police and firefighters arrived at the scene.

Officials said Veillette and his slain wife both had "knife markings." Veillette is in stable condition in hospital.

Police have not said how he was injured, but as of Saturday he was under 24-hour guard.

Mason is located about 30 kilometres northeast of Cincinnati.

Ferrari-Veillette worked in a mall and Veillette designed engines. Neighbours said he would spend most of his time travelling for his job and was home only a few days a month.

Marguerite was a student at Mason Heights Elementary School. Her principal -- Eric Messer -- told The Associated Press that "her mother was an amazing parent. Everyone is in shock. It's such a tragedy."

With a report by CTV Montreal's Derek Conlon