Police: Three killed in Kentucky stabbing, including two children, ruled as murder-suicide

Posted at 9:51 AM, Mar 08, 2022

WALTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Authorities say a stabbing that left a woman and children dead in northern Kentucky back in January has been ruled as a murder-suicide.

Officers were called to an apartment on Overland Ridge in Walton. Inside, they found the bodies of a woman and two children. Another man was injured in the stabbing but survived.

The surviving victim, Matthew Farrell, told detectives that he woke up to his girlfriend, Monique Pena, repeatedly stabbing him. The Boone County Sheriff's Office says during the assault, a neighbor could hear a man yelling "Don't do it, why are you doing this to the kids, don't kill me!" Farrell fled the apartment believing that he was her sole target. Farrell told officers that he never feared Pena would harm the children.

Autopsies were performed on the bodies and in their final report, the Medical Examiner ruled Pena's cause of death as a suicide. The children's deaths, 12-year-old Nikki Romero-Pena and 3-year-old Katie Farrell-Pena, were both ruled as homicides.

Pena's family told authorities that she was experiencing extreme paranoia at the time, which is atypical. The paranoia caused Pena to believe that her family was actively attempting, or about to harm her and her children. Pena also believed that her family was attempting to have her children removed from her.

Police say Pena abruptly cut her hair from a length below her waist to a length significantly shorter and above her ears, believing it would circumvent a potentially positive drug test result. Her toxicology report was negative.

Based on all of the evidence, detectives are closing the investigation on the case and ruling it as a murder-suicide. The Boone County Commonwealth's Attorney’s Office is also declining to prosecute anyone at this time.