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Victims, suspects ID'd in Clark triple homicide

This composite of booking photos released by Park County Sheriff Scott Steward shows Stephen Hammer, 19, at left and Tanner Vanpelt, 18, at right. This composite of booking photos released by Park County Sheriff Scott Steward shows Stephen Hammer, 19, at left and Tanner Vanpelt, 18, at right. Courtesy photos/Park County Sheriff's Office

Sheriff calls killings "nothing short of cold-blooded murder"

Two young Cody men are in custody after an apparent triple homicide in Clark that occurred at around 11 a.m. Saturday at a home on Big View Road.

Park County Sheriff Scott Steward announced the homicides and arrests in a Saturday afternoon news release.

"There are no other suspects being sought at this time in connection to the case," Steward said.

In a Sunday afternoon news release, Steward identified the three deceased as 40-year-old Ildiko Freitas, who owned the house with her husband, and her parents: 69-year-old Janos Volgyesi and 70-year-old Hildegard Volgyesi. All three were living in Clark, Steward said, and the release indicates they were fatally shot.

He identified the suspects in custody as 19-year-old Stephen Hammer and 18-year-old Tanner Vanpelt, both of Cody.

"Witnesses observed two slender white males enter the residence and then a short time later saw two cars fleeing the residence at a high rate of speed. One of the cars was recognized as a car belonging to Freitas," Steward said. "Deputies on scene quickly gathered vehicle descriptions from witnesses and Park County Sheriff’s Dispatchers immediately (broadcast) the vehicle descriptions. Troopers of the Wyoming Highway Patrol, whom had responded to assist, located the vehicles several miles from the scene and took both subjects into custody without incident."

Steward said the Wyoming State Crime Lab and agents from the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation are handling the crime scene investigation.

"This is nothing short of cold blooded murder and I attribute the quick apprehension of the suspects to alert neighbors and the swift actions of members of the Park County Sheriff’s Office and Troopers of the Wyoming State Patrol," Steward said. He said the two men would make their first court appearance on Tuesday, which is presumably when more information about the suspects will be released.

Robert Bushman Jr., who lives across the street, didn't see what happened, but spoke to neighbors who did. Bushman said he was told the suspects arrived in a white vehicle no one recognized, then, about 20 minutes later, sped off in two vehicles: the white vehicle they'd arrived in and a black Audi owned by the residents of the home.

Bushman said some of his neighbors saw the residents' dogs chasing the two vehicles down the road and were concerned. At the home, the neighbors found the residents had been fatally shot. Though the Audi was apparently stolen, Bushman heard a purse was left in the garage.

Though Bushman didn't know the residents particularly well, he called them "real nice people." Bushman said the incident came "totally out of left field"; when he initially saw the ambulances and law enforcement outside the home, he assumed it was some kind of health problem.

"It's just unreal," Bushman said.

Reporter CJ Baker can be reached via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Steward's entire news releases are pasted below.

Saturday's:

"The Park County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a triple homicide that occurred today (Saturday, March 2) at approximately 11:00 hours in northern Park County. Two suspects in connection with the murders have been apprehended and are currently in custody. There are no other suspects being sought at this time in connection to the case.

The names of the deceased are being withheld at this time pending positive identification and notification of next of kin.

The investigation is in the early stages and at this time there is no further information available, but more information will be provided as we continue the investigation."

Sunday's:

The Park County Sheriff’s Office is continuing the investigation into the murders of three people that occurred Saturday, March 2nd the small community of Clark Wyoming located in northern Park County.

The Sheriff’s Office received a report around 11:15 from a nearby neighbor that they had located two people shot inside a residence. Sheriff’s Deputies and EMTs were dispatched to the scene. While deputies searched and secured the scene a third body was located in the basement of the residence.

The victims have been identified as 40 year old Ildiko Freitas and her parents, 69 year old Janos Volgyessi and 70 year old wife Hildegard Volgyessi all from Clark.

Witnesses observed two slender white males enter the residence and then a short time later saw two cars fleeing the residence at a high rate of speed. One of the cars was recognized as a car belonging to Freitas. Deputies on scene quickly gathered vehicle descriptions from witnesses and Park County Sheriff’s Dispatchers immediately broad casted the vehicle descriptions. Troopers of the Wyoming Highway Patrol, whom had responded to assist, located the vehicles several miles from the scene and took both subjects into custody without incident.

Suspects have been identified as 19 year old Stephen Hammer and 18 year old Tanner Vanpelt, both from Cody. Both are currently be held in the Park County Detention Center and will be formally charged for the murders and other crimes on Tuesday, March 5th.

The crime scene investigation is being conducted by members of the Wyoming State Crime Lab and agents from the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation.

This is nothing short of cold blooded murder and I attribute the quick apprehension of the suspects to alert neighbors and the swift actions of members of the Park County Sheriff’s Office and Troopers of the Wyoming State Patrol.

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7 comments

  • posted by Ernst

    March 05, 2013 5:53 pm

    I don't understand why they had kill my Aunt, Uncle and Cousin, they have ruined our whole Family. My Aunt Hildegard was very kind woman she was looking forward Janos retirement and going to WY and be with Ildiko and John, Hildegard and Janos where devoted Parents. I hope these two individuals will get the death penalty.

  • posted by Wehle

    March 04, 2013 10:00 am

    It would be really nice to know if this was a random attack or there was a connection between victims and suspects.

    As terrible as this event is...it is important for citizens of Park Co. to know more about the events.

    Thanks!!

  • posted by Tristan

    March 03, 2013 8:03 pm

    Hi Im a very close friend to the victims son/brother and all of this is nothing short of horrible.....he is grieving tremendously for his parents and sister..... I hope that those guys pay for what they've done because this has hurt two wonderful men.... my best friend and his sisters husband who now has to grieve the loss of his wife

  • posted by Jennifer Bays

    March 03, 2013 7:43 pm

    We was a close neighbor of the Hammers, when they lived just a mile down the road. We were at their house or them here all the time. We took Stephen to the The battle of the Big Horn, when he was 13. My husband taught him how to play guitar. He was a likeable boy. He would say yes ma'am and no sir. He seemed like a very well mannered boy. We took him to wrestling meets and done a lot with him. I am so upset that he could do this. This is devistating to us. I can't understand what happened to him. It has shown me that you REALLY never know someone. I just would like him to tell me why. He really looked up to us. I am beyond word! And my heart goes out to the family affected. I just don't understand. My sons hung out with him all the time. What is wrong with our youth? They have no concience!

  • posted by CJ Baker, Tribune staff

    March 03, 2013 6:14 pm

    To clarify, the Tribune didn't use any names until they were officially released. The story has since been updated.

  • posted by anonymous

    March 03, 2013 5:24 pm

    @ Rebecca "This composite of booking photos released by Park County Sheriff Scott Steward shows Stephen Hammer, 19, at left and Tanner Vanpelt, 18, at right."

  • posted by rebecca

    March 02, 2013 8:40 pm

    Kudos for not releasing the names yet. That is very professional.

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