Police standoff ends after girl released, couple slain

Monday, April 21, 2003

REHRERSBURG, Pa. -- A teenage girl abducted after her uncle broke into her family's home and killed her parents was released unharmed Sunday after a police chase. Her uncle was later arrested following a four-hour standoff.

Robert Lee Hixson, 42, surrendered to police at about 3:40 p.m. Sunday, state police trooper Raymond J. Albert said. He had released his 13-year-old niece Hadley Bilger at around 11:30 a.m.

Police placed tire-flattening equipment in the roadway, disabling the vehicle after a high speed chase through Berks County that ended about 90 miles southwest of the girl's home in the Pocono Mountains, police said.

"At some point, Hixson stopped the car and let her out. She is with the police," FBI spokeswoman Linda Vizi said.

The standoff took place outside of a small food market. Hixson was moving in and out of his vehicle and was at times holding a shotgun to his chin, Albert said. He was also believed to have a handgun.

Authorities said Hixson shot and killed his wife's brother, Myron L. Bilger Jr., and Bilger's wife, Ellen, at their Pocono Lakes home Saturday night.

The couple's 5-year-old daughter was also home at the time and ran to the house of a relative, who alerted authorities, police said. A statewide Amber Alert was issued for her sister, Hadley, who was wearing teddy-bear print pajamas when she was abducted.

The girls' father identified Hixson as the shooter before he died, said Pocono Mountain Regional Police Detective Harry Lewis.

Hixson, who has three sons, had told his wife he was going fishing and dropped her off at her mother's house in Danville late Saturday afternoon, her mother, Donna Faye Bilger, said Sunday.

The shootings took place about 65 miles away.

When police arrived at Donna Faye Bilger's house to investigate, they discovered that two of her husband's shotguns were missing from a locked cabinet, she said.

"Well, he wanted to run off with their daughter," Donna Faye Bilger said.

Police declined to comment on a possible motive, but said they did not think an argument immediately preceded the shooting.

"There was no communication, from what I understand. He broke in," said Detective Michael Robson.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: