New information released about Monday night double homicide

Two guns found at home; autopsies set to determine if one or both had been used

Two handguns have been recovered in a search of the home where a mother and daughter were shot to death last night.

On Monday night, 37-year-old Amy Freeman Burton and her 13-year-old daughter Ainsley Freeman were found with fatal wounds at their home on the 3200 block of Stacey Court. The two were killed with a handgun, although police have not released the type of pistol involved.

Neither of the two guns found at the home is registered, according to a Pleasanton Police news release, but one was located in the general area of the two victims.

Autopsies have been scheduled for Wednesday morning and police expect they will reveal "new and important facts." Those autopsies and lab tests of the weapons and ammunition will determine if one or both handguns were involved in the incident.

Christopher Burton, Amy Freeman Burton's husband, told investigators they obtained the guns from his brother in Arizona.

The news release said Burton told police his wife had recently become paranoid as a result of an incident regarding Ainsley. He said he and his wife reported to the Pleasanton Police and the FBI in February of this year that Ainsley was in communication via text messages with a suspicious male located in the state of Kentucky.

However, an investigation launched by the Pleasanton Police Department and the FBI revealed the individual was a 16-year-old male and that the activity did not constitute a criminal violation.

"We have no reason to believe at this time there is any connection between this earlier report and the shooting deaths," Pleasanton Lt. Jeff Bretzling said in the news release.

Police received a call to the home at around 6 p.m., Bretzing said in his initial briefing on the double slaying Monday night.

"Officers, upon arriving, encountered 37-year-old Amy Freeman Burton who had a fatal gunshot wound," Bretzing said. "They also encountered her 13-year-old daughter, Ainsly Freeman who had also been shot. Ainsly was taken to Eden Trauma Center in Castro Valley, where she succumbed to her injuries."

Bretzing said police are still investigating the circumstances that led to the deaths. The woman's husband called 911 and while Bretzing did not name him, he was described as a person of interest.

A warrant was written so police could search the house and as of midnight, the search had just begun. An Alameda County Sheriff was on scene and technicians were going through the home.

While he couldn't confirm what school Ainsly Freeman attended, neighbors said the 13-year-old was a student at Hart Middle School.

"Our hearts go out to the friends and family. Please take this time to recognize those around you and take care of each other," HMS Principal Terry Code wrote in a statement. "Using the example set by our students, it is important that we continue to come together as a Hart community."

Meanwhile, classmates and family members are grieving Freeman and Burton's deaths.

Amy Freeman Burton's mother, Linda Walp of Chesterfield, Mo., said her daughter and granddaughter had moved to Pleasanton around late December or early January. Walp said the family moved for employment reasons.

Cyndy Bormann, a counseling secretary at HMS, said that all the middle school counselors in the Pleasanton Unified School District are at Hart today.

"We are focusing on taking care of our students. We will be providing grief counseling to all students. We have additional counselors on site," Bormann said.

Pleasanton Middle School Principal John Whitney said that his three counselors have been dispatched to Hart Middle School to assist with grief counseling on site.

Whitney said the third school in the district, Harvest Park Middle School, has also dispatched several counselors and that Hart has three counselors on staff.

"Our counselors have all been dispatched to assist with the students and staff to help them get through this," Whitney said.

Further information about the circumstances of the deaths was not immediately available.


Like this comment
Posted by William
a resident of Danville
on May 8, 2012 at 6:28 am

The inability to express anger or disappointment other than using a gun to kill and then kill oneself seems more common all the time. A sad statement on emotional dysfunction in families.

Like this comment
Posted by Concerned
a resident of another community
on May 9, 2012 at 8:13 am

This is NOT a murder suicide. No note left behind. The earlier report was Just a guess but until ALL the FACTS are in, I personally consider it a heartless murder of two innocent people.

Like this comment
Posted by wondering
a resident of another community
on May 15, 2012 at 10:02 am

any update to this story?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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