Man arrested in brutal murders of mother, sister, family friend at Hempstead home

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HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. —  A man has been charged with bludgeoning his mother, sister and family friend, to death inside their Hempstead home overnight, Nassau County Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick said Saturday.

Bobby Vanderhall is accused of killing his sister, family friend and mother. (Photo contributed by family)

Bobby Vanderhall, 34, was arrested Saturday following the early morning slayings.

The victims have been identified as his mother, Lynn Reichenbach-Vanderhall, 58, sister, Melissa Vanderhall, 29, and a family acquaintance, Janel Simpson, 29.

A grieving mother being comforted by her husband as other relatives collapsed in grief when hearing the news of this horrific triple homicide on Perry Street in Hempstead.

"What is my most beautiful memory of my daughter?" Wendy Johnson said through her tears, "her smile, her love.

A mother, Lynn Reichenbach-Vanderhall, 58, sister, Melissa Vanderhall, 29, died after Bobby Vanderhall allegedly killed them at Hempstead home.

Authorities responded to a call of an assault around 1:15 a.m. and arrived at the Vanderhall's Hempstead home to find the bodies of the three women at the horrific scene.

Officials say Bobby Vanderhall had been kicked out of the house by his mother prior to the incident and was homeless. When he tried to come back home around 1 a.m. and found the doors locked, authorities say he became enraged and grabbed a framing hammer and broke into the house.

"He went to the garage, grabbed a framing hammer, broke through the basement door and bludgeoned his mother," Stephen Fitzpatrick, the commanding officer of the Nassau County Homicide Squad, said at a news conference.

Police say Vanderhall  then proceeded upstairs where he allegedly killed his sister and her friend.

A fourth woman, also age 29, who escaped and called 911, is reported to be in stable condition at Nassau County Medical Center. Her identity has not been released.

Vanderhall was found sleeping in his vehicle nearby and taken into custody.

Police said the mother had taken out an order of protection against her son when he was evicted six months ago.

Relatives talked of a mother who tried her best with her emotionally troubled son.

"Lynn had times with her son," Juanita Johnson, her niece, told PIX11. "She tried her best with him."

Police say Vanderhall had been arrested three times in the last 14 years, for DWI, drugs, and sex abuse and now this tragedy.

"It's devastating to the entire community," James Sharpe, a neighbor, told PIX11. "We are close knit community, like family."

Vanderhall will be arraigned on three counts of murder and one of attempted murder.

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