By all accounts, the early weeks of March were a hectic, stressful time in Beth Potter and Robin Carre’s Madison, Wisconsin, home. The COVID-19 pandemic was surging across the US, and Potter – a family medicine physician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working the front lines – was concerned about bringing the virus home to her husband or their 18-year-old daughter, Miriam. And she was just as determined to protect her patients from infection from the outside.
Friends say Potter and Carre (right) were devoted to daughter Miriam (left) and their two older sons. Their murders at the UW Arboretum stunned the community.
Weeks earlier the couple had agreed to let Miriam’s boyfriend, Khari Sanford, 19, move in with their family – the teenagers were quarantining together – but Potter and Carre were growing increasingly concerned the teenagers weren’t taking the outbreak seriously and were refusing to follow social-distancing guidelines with friends.
Ali’jah Larrue (left) and Khari Sanford (right) were long-time friends at Madison West High School, where Sanford was a receiver on the school’s football team and vice president of the school’s Black Student Union and Larrue was known as a gamer and jokester. If convicted of murder charges, both face life in prison.
To minimise the risks, Potter and Carre paid to move Miriam and Sanford into a nearby Airbnb and even-handed them the keys to the family’s minivan so they would have their own transportation. “Beth was a good doctor,” says next-door neighbour John Birbaum. “She definitely wouldn’t go to work if she thought she could wind up getting COVID from her daughter and bring it to the clinic.”
But while the couple’s caution may have prevented further spread of the deadly virus, it tragically didn’t save their own lives.
In the chilly early morning hours of March 31, a jogger found Potter, 52, and Carre, 57, covered in blood, lying facedown in a ditch at the UW Arboretum. Both had been shot in the head. Carre, wearing only his underwear, was dead. Potter, clad in pyjamas, died an hour later, after being rushed to the hospital.
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August 31, 2020