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Toddler's 911 call in spotlight after parents are slain

Associated Press
Published December 30, 2005

FORT MYERS - A couple found dead in their home after their 2-year-old son called 911 were victims of a double homicide, the Lee County Sheriff's Office said late Wednesday.

Steven and Michelle Andrews, both 28, were found dead at home in their gated community shortly after 7 a.m. Tuesday. Police responded to a 911 call by the couple's toddler son, who was found unharmed, sheriff's spokeswoman Ileana LiMarzi said.

Officials did not provide details on the cause of death, including whether a weapon was used. They said the deaths apparently occurred between 11 p.m. Monday and 6 a.m. Tuesday.

A preliminary autopsy report ruled out homicide-suicide, Maj. Jeff Taylor of the Sheriff's Office violent crimes unit said.

The family moved to Florida from Minnesota last year. Steven Andrews was a landscape architect in Bonita Springs, and Michelle was a nutritionist in Fort Myers.

Their son has been placed with relatives, authorities said.

The toddler's phone call drew national attention.

He is not articulate enough to talk with victim advocates, but that does not rule out the ability to call police, Taylor said.

"The child was not having a conversation with the dispatcher, but was making enough noise that the dispatcher could tell that there was a child on the other end," LiMarzi said in a statement.

A recording of the call is expected to be released later this week.

It is not unusual for small children to dial 911, and someone as young as 2 can do it, said Sherry Cody, who supervises 911 operations at the sheriff's office, where the call was handled.

[Last modified December 30, 2005, 00:56:10]

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