25 Investigates: Police records reveal prior accusations against alleged shooter in murder-suicide

CHARLTON, Mass. — The shooting death of a local mother of two, Kristen Carey, inside a Charlton home has left a family reeling and desperate for answers. The Worcester County district attorney is investigating the Jan. 2 violence as a murder-suicide. They say the shooter was Carey’s boyfriend.

25 Investigates has been digging into this case for the last three weeks to get insight into what led to this horrific violence.

Family says it was a romance that began during the spring of the COVID-19 pandemic. They say what they saw on social media led them to believe everything was OK.

“How good everything was going, how lucky she was to have him, it seemed fine on the surface,” said Jenn Bradbury, Carey’s sister-in-law.

Bradbury says Carey met Keith Cuthbertson in the beginning of 2020 and shortly after moved into his condo at a Charlton complex, along with her two children ages 12 and 9. It was in that condo the 37-year-old mother’s life was cut tragically short.

“How did we get to this point? How did no one know,” Bradbury asked.

That Saturday night, Charlton police got a 911 call, from a boy, about an argument a couple had in a bedroom.

Investigators says Carey was alive when first responders arrived, but had multiple gunshot wounds. They say it appeared Cuthbertson, 49, shot and killed himself.

Bradbury told Boston 25 News anchor and investigative reporter Kerry Kavanaugh one of Carey’s children was home at the time.

“It’s impossible to describe the hole that’s been left in their life. This was their person. The one person that was there for them their whole life,” Bradbury said. “To be there to hear it happen. To try to get in the room and save your mother, these are wounds that don’t heal.”

Bradbury said she and her family had never met Cuthbertson. She says they talked all the time but, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they hadn’t spent much time together in person.

“It’s just inconceivable to me that no one knew. That no one knew what kind of person this was or that there wasn’t something out there,” she said.

25 Investigates asked Charlton police how many times they responded to calls at this address. We found only one call in 2020, and it didn’t involve Kristen Carey. But, there were several calls in the spring, of 2015.

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According to police records, a woman, who identified herself as Cuthbertson’s ex-girlfriend, sought and obtained a temporary restraining order against him. It was only in effect a couple of weeks. During that time, Charlton police asked Cuthbertson to turn over his three guns and ammunition, which he did. Once that order expired, they would have been returned to him.

The alleged victim from 2015 told 25 Investigates Cuthbertson threatened her with violence and she fled the same Charlton condo with her child one night when he wasn’t home.

Cuthbertson never faced any charges in relation to the 2015 accusations. 25 Investigates found no prior arrest record with Charlton police.

In his obituary, family recalled him as smart and generous man and longtime registered nurse. Cuthberton’s family did not return our requests for comment.

Meanwhile, Bradbury says the family is baffled and broken and as they search for answers.

“Kristen was wonderful,” she said. “She always put the children first.”

Now, her family hope Kristen’s story will give someone else the strength they need to ask for help.

“Don’t hide it from your family because they’re the people that can protect you,” Bradbury said. “It’s not just something that happens on the news or that you hear about. She was just a normal person like anyone else.”

25 Investigates checked with the Worcester County district attorney’s office. They did not have an update on their investigation as of Friday afternoon.

Bradbury says after her death, some of Kristen’s friends came forward with small stories about conversations they had with Kristen that concerned them. Bradbury cautions as comfortable as speaking up may be, what her family is now experiencing is far worse.

If you have concerns about the relationship you’re in, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (800-799-7233). It’s available 24-7 and is free and confidential.

People can find contact information for free and confidential sexual and domestic violence services near them here.


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