Family affair: Police say father of alleged wife-killing fisherman admits to helping son cover up killing

Police have arrested a St. Petersburg, Florida, man after he allegedly confessed to helping his son conceal his daughter-in-law’s murder, according to ABC Action News.

Ernest Leclair, 74, is also being accused of hiding the pistol that his son allegedly used to kill his wife.

Christopher Leclair, his 48-year-old son, was arrested under suspicion of killing his wife, Karen, 54, during a boating trip on Lake Erie last month. As Crime Online previously reported, Christopher originally claimed that his wife of 25 years fell off of the boat, despite police later finding her with a gunshot wound to the head.

Authorities have also indicated that Christopher waited an entire day to report his wife Karen as missing. Surveillance footage caught the couple setting out on the boat on June 10, but only Christopher was seen returning.

Karen’s body washed up in a lake in upstate New York on July 4. Pennsylvania State Police said her ankles were bound by rope and an anchor was tied to her chest, in addition to the gunshot wound to the head, according to official police documents.

Investigators have noted that Karen was killed by a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver. A weapon matching that description was found in the couple’s Pennsylvania home during a search, the Erie Times-News has reported.

During a review of prison recordings on Wednesday, investigators discovered that Christopher asked his father Ernest whether he took care of the gun.

“There had to be a reason he wanted [to be] rid of that gun,” Lt. Wayne Kline commented. “Once we knew there was a gunshot wound, we went full tilt.”

The 74-year-old has been accused of moving the revolver from a hiding spot in the basement ceiling to behind a bedroom cabinet, the Eerie Times-News has also reported.

Christopher Leclair is being charged with criminal homicide. He is being held in Erie County Prison without bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 31.

Ernest Leclair was charged with tampering with and fabricating physical evidence. He is also being held in the Erie County Prison on a $25,000 bond.

[Featured Image: Police Handout]