Enfield PD: Granddaughter charged with two counts of murder in connection to double homicide on Alden Avenue


ENFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — Enfield police have charged the granddaughter of one of the victims in a double homicide that took place over the weekend with two counts of murder.

Around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Enfield Police said they were called to Alden Avenue for a well-being check. Police say a person reported hearing a disturbance inside one of the units of a multi-family home; they told police they could hear the upstairs neighbor yelling for help.

The incident report details that when officers got there, they observed a large piece of broken glass and a small metal object at the bottom of the stairs leading to the second-floor apartment. The report goes on to say the first window on the top porch was smashed open.

Enfield Police said they found two victims, a couple, inside the unit. They kicked in the door when they saw the female victim on the floor. Both victims were found with lacerations on their upper bodies.

The man, later identified as 63-year-old James Samuel Bell, was pronounced dead. The woman, identified as 72-year-old Maryrose Riach, was transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, where she later died.

“Enfield Police Department personnel entered into that apartment and two victims were located,” explained Chief Alaric Fox of the Enfield Police Dept. “One victim was pronounced deceased at the scene. The second victim was transported to Bay State Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.”

Harlee Swols, 22, of Enfield. Photo: Enfield Police Dept.

Police are working to figure out what led up to their deaths. 

Police found 22-year-old Harlee Swols, granddaughter of Riach, in the home too and she was arrested on scene. The report adds, at the time of her arrest, Swols was fully clothed but soaking wet with water and blood. 

Newly released court documents reveal Swols took an Uber to the Alden Ave. home around 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

The documents state the driver, after dropping Swols off, heard several things breaking and heard a female yelling for help. Just as he was about to dial 911, help arrived.

Police said Swols was the subject of a prior incident that led to a full protective order. Swols was charged with violation of a protective order and her bond was sent to $1 million.

In an interview with detectives, Swols told them “she had been invited over to the [victim’s] residents to pick up some belongings and then ‘things got out of hand.'”

Swols reportedly recounted Bell came at her with a knife and, at some point, the knife was in her possession.

The documents go on to say, “She stated that she picked the knife up in the bedroom and when she picked it up she hurt someone with the knife. When questioned further about who she hurt, she would not elaborate.”

Swols is on mental health watch due to the nature of the allegations.

Swols appeared before a judge Monday, and then again on Wednesday after Enfield police charged her with two counts of murder; her bond was raised to $2 million.

“We would characterize that as a family disturbance, of or at a misdemeanor level,” Chief Fox said.

Enfield residents News 8 spoke with say they’re all in mourning as this is a tragedy that has greatly impacted all of them.

“It’s devastating. It’s our community. It’s a shame,” said Daryl Perry of Enfield.

Chief Alaric Fox of the Enfield Police Department said their work inside the unit will entail a great deal of crime scene processing and forensics-type work. Connecticut State Police were called in to assist Enfield Police with their investigation.

Anyone with information about this double homicide is asked to call Enfield Police.

Swols will appear back in court later this month.

News 8 will update this story as more information comes in.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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