CUMBERLAND — A 14-year-old boy made a 911 call Monday afternoon after discovering his mother's body lying in a pool of blood in his 29 Titus St. home and later learned police would charge his father in her death.
Peter J. Pytka, 40, was arraigned in District Court, Providence, on a Cumberland Police charge he allegedly murdered his wife, Tracey Pytka, 38, after an apparent domestic incident at the Titus Street residence.
Police Chief John Desmarais said Tuesday Pytka was arrested by Pawtucket Police at about 10 p.m. Monday near Parent's Marina where he is believed to have fled in his wife's car.
Pytka may have been preparing to kill himself at the location and was reported to have struggled with Pawtucket Police officers while being taken into custody. Desmarais said no one was reported hurt in the arrest.
Police received the 911 call from the Pytka's 14-year-old son after he found his mother dead in her bedroom, Desmarais said.
Local rescue units responded to the location with police and confirmed the victim had died of her apparent injuries, Desmarais said.
Cumberland police detectives began an investigation of the crime and determined with the assistance of the medical examiner's office the victim had suffered stab wounds.
Several knives were taken from the home and will be reviewed by the medical examiner to determine whether they caused the victim's injuries, Desmarais said. Police were reported to have received a report of a man and woman fighting in the street in the Titus Street area earlier Monday, but did not locate anyone outside when responding to the neighborhood.
After identifying Peter Pytka as a suspect in his wife's killing, Cumberland police put out an all-points-bulletin seeking his arrest, Desmarais said.
The suspect may have been preparing to enter the waters of the Pawtucket River in a suicide attempt when he was located by Pawtucket police, according to reports.
Pytka was ordered held without bail at his appearance in District Court on Tuesday and remanded to the ACI. He will return to court for a bail hearing on Jan. 4, Desmarais said.
Tracey Pytka was the first victim of murder in the town in 2010 but Cumberland police have handled other domestic murder cases, the most recent being the March 2009, killing of Rita Paiva at her Baldwin Street home. Paiva's son, Richard Pavia, 36, was charged with stabbing her to death and sentenced to life in prison for the crime in September. Police had repeatedly visited the Paiva residence for domestic problems between the two.
Desmarais said while Cumberland Police had no record of contact with the Pytkas for domestic incidents, family members have indicated there may have been incidents of domestic abuse against the victim that had gone unreported.
Tracey Pytka had two younger children in addition to her son and Desmarais viewed her killing as a sad incident for her family and the town.
“It is sad any time you have a domestic homicide like this,” Desmarais said. “It really affects both sides of the family. Our hearts go out to the family of Tracey Pytka and her children.”
The children are being cared for by relatives, and will be provided with any needed assistance in coping with the crime, Desmarais said. “It is a tragic, tragic situation that has happened.”
Desmarais said police are seeing a rise in domestic calls in the town and attributes some of that increase to problems related to the difficult ecomony and family stresses that result from economic difficulties. The Police Department does work with a domestic violence advocate, Desmarais noted. “Anyone who knows of a woman who is a victim of domestic violence can contact us and we will put them in contact with the advocate,” he said.