We've been following a developing story Friday night-- a Springfield woman is charged with killing her husband and son and attempting to kill her daughter. 51-year-old Diane Staudte admitted she poisoned all three with anti-freeze beginning last April. Her daughter is in intensive care at Cox Hospital. She's expected to live but may have permanent damage.
It was an anonymous tip called into Springfield police last week about Diane Staudte's family. The caller asked police to look into 61-year-old Mark and 26-year-old Shaun Staudte's deaths. Mark died in April 2012, Shaun the following September, and both were ruled natural causes at the time. But after police interviewed Diane Staudte they got what they believe is the real story.
It's hard for the Standfills for come to grips with the fact that while their children are laughing and playing two other children who used to live across the street can no longer do the same.
"Just kind of, disturbing, you know," Becky Standfill tells us.
They didn't know the Staudte family well; they say no one really did.
"They moved in a little over a year ago, they're quiet, keep to themselves, we very rarely see them unless they are coming and going," says Doug Standfill who certainly didn't see this coming.
Diane Staudte eventually admitted to police she killed her husband Mark because "she hated him", her son Shaun because he was "worse than a pest", and tried to kill her daughter because "she had student loans and wouldn't get a job to pay them off." She poisoned all three with antifreeze. Mark died before the family moved to a the south Springfield neighborhood where the Standfills live; Shaun died in the house across the street from them.
"They brought a body bag out on a stretcher, we didn't know what happened or who it was or anything like that and we never heard anything," until Friday, when the Standfills saw police at the house and an investigator take Diane Staudte's other two daughters-- one in her 20s, the other a minor-- away.
"To know something like that was going on and nobody knew anything," makes the Standfills want to hold their kids a little tighter.
We spoke with another neighbor who didn't want to go on camera. She says she visited with Diane after her son died. She says Diane told her Shaun was autistic, and she found him dead after she returned from church.
We also checked Diane Staudt's Facebook page; last week she asked friend to pray for her daughter in the ICU.
If convicted, Diane Staudte faces life in prison without parole or the death penalty.