Eastside News

Investigators reveal son likely killed his parents, then himself

SAMMAMISH, Wash. — The dentist didn't show up for an appointment Saturday.  

So just after 7 o'clock that night, a family member called the King County Sheriff.

What they found has devastated a family and touched people here in Sammamish and Seattle, where he and his wife worked.

Dr. Rick Nicolini, his wife and adult son were all found dead inside their home in Sammamish's tony Broadmoore neighborhood.

It is a development where neighbor know each other by name, we are told.

But few people here knew the Nicolinis well.

"They kind of kept to themselves," said neighbor Rick Willard. "I saw the kid when he was going to school."

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And Willard said he saw nothing that foreshadowed this. 

"And you never heard, you never saw anything between, among them, that would make you say," he was asked.  

He interrupted the question and said, "Never heard them yelling or screaming. Nothing, yeah. Just heard them doing yard work."

So he says the entire neighborhood was surprised to see King County sheriff's deputies surrounding their home Saturday night. 

On Monday, investigators said all indications are that Richie Nicolini murdered his parents, then took his own life. 

Nicolini and his wife, Mary Ellen, worked at his dental office on Olive Way near downtown Seattle.

KIRO 7 went to Sound Dentistry. 

"Hi there," said KIRO 7 reporter Deborah Horne. "We're from KIRO 7."

But the receptionist said everyone was grieving too much to talk. No patients were waiting; the Nicolinis didn't work Mondays.  

Back at their home in Sammamish, a second car was parked in the driveway. The people in it said they had nothing to say. All of this is a sorrowful coda to three lives.

"Yeah, it's sad," said neighbor Willard. 

"Sad and, as you said, a surprise?" he was asked. 

"Yeah," he replied. "I don't know what would drive somebody to do that."

That is what detectives are trying to determine, too: why Richie Nicolini shot his parents and himself in the head.

The case remains an active investigation.

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