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Benjamin and Sebastian Hintt

Dad Wanted to Start a New Life ‘Somewhere beautiful’ Before Killer Shot Him & 2 Sons, Found Dead in Home

An Illinois man found dead over the weekend had plans to start a new life with his children before a “senseless tragedy” occurred, according to his family.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, three victims were found inside their Belvidere home in the 600 block of Union Avenue on Sunday, dead from apparent gunshot wounds. They were identified as Andrew Hintt, 31, and his two sons, Benjamin and Sebastian Hintt, ages 7 and 5.

Hintt’s landlord called 911 after the children’s mother contacted him and said she hadn’t heard from her family. Police found the bodies on Sunday night, along with four shell casings. The weapon hasn’t been located, police said.

“This is not God’s will. This was the evil of man,” Rev. David Smith of First Assembly of God Church in Belvidere said during a vigil for the victims this week.

I can’t tell you, ‘It’s not going to hurt,” Smith told the family, according to the Rockford Register Star. “It’s going to hurt for a while. But look around and remember. In the moment that it hurt the most, these people came out here to be beside you.”

According to Hintt’s aunt, Theresa Eileen, he was self-employed, owned a meat truck, and “spoiled the heck out of his kids.” Andrew was reportedly in the process of moving to California and starting a new life.

Andrew Hintt
Andrew Hintt/Facebook

“They were just trying to start a new life, somewhere beautiful,” Eileen said. “They both loved it out there. They had been out there for about a month looking for a place to live.”

Andrew Hintt and his fiancee had five children together, including the oldest two, Benjamin and Sebastian. Hintt’s fiancee and the three youngest were in California when the deadly incident happened, according to family.

Benjamin and Sebastian reportedly lived with relatives in the area, but their father was given weekly visitation with them. He was hoping to have the boys live with him permanently once he got settled in California.

Belvidere Police Chief Shane Woody said during Monday’s press conference that the deaths are being investigated as a triple homicide. He didn’t offer any suspect information.

“What I can tell you is that whoever conducted this horrific act is truly evil,” Woody said. “Beyond that, I can’t give you any additional information.”

Investigators are unsure why the incident happened, whether a burglary was in progress, or something else. Woody said the case is in its early stages and the investigation continues.

“My heart, as well as the community’s heart, goes out to the victims,” Mayor Clint Morris added, according to the Rockford Register Star.

“Obviously, this time of year it certainly puts a pall on Christmas time and the celebration that we just recently had but I’m confident that our police department will find the individual who committed this (crime).”

Woody said Hintt’s SUV, a gray 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk with Illinois license plate, CT92923, is missing from the home. Police continue to search for it.

The Illinois State Police is working with Belvidere police on the case. Woody said more information will be released once the official autopsies are completed.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral and burial expenses.

Anyone with any information regarding the case should contact the Belvidere Police Department at 815-544-2135 or Boone County Crime Stoppers at 815-547-7867.

Check back for updates.

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[Feature Photo: Benjamin and Sebastian Hintt/GoFundMe]