Newington man charged in wife's murder

A woman's death in Newington is being investigated as a homicide (WFSB)

A 45-year-old Newington man was arraigned at Hartford Hospital today after he was arrested and charged with murdering his wife last month.

In the arrest warrant released, police outlined what happened the day of September 21st at Michael and Patricia Torbicki’s home on Gilbert Road.

A blood trail leads from the master bedroom to the living room. Detectives said Michael Torbicki Jr. shot his wife in the leg, and while she was trying to escape, he fatally shot her in the side of the head by the front door.

Police said they were called just before 9 a.m. A neighbor reported seeing a woman with blood all over her laying inside the outer glass doorway. 911 Dispatcher: "Newington 911 what is your emergency? Caller: Yes I'm taking a walk near 52 Gilbert there is a neighbor next door, there is a woman lying in the doorway...I think she is dead. Please come soon.The first officer that arrived, looked through the glass storm door and saw a woman slumped over with a head wound and determined that she was dead. She was later identified as Patricia Torbicki by one of her sisters.

Officers said they could not enter the home when they first arrived because they did not know the suspect's location.

Officers quickly learned who the home belonged to and that Michael Torbicki was unaccounted for.

Police learned he had four registered guns in his name, according to the CT Firearms Database. The guns included a 12 gauge shotgun, two long guns and a 9mm handgun. However, they said it was possible that he also owned others.

Police told neighbors to “shelter in place” for hours as they tried to figure out where Michael Torbicki was and beckoned him on a microphone. Eventually, officers saw Torbicki in the front living room unresponsive. When SWAT teams entered they found him laying between two couches just feet away from where his wife was with “a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his face.”

Police found a 16 gauge pump action shotgun laying between the couple's feet.

Michael Torbicki was rushed to the hospital.

Detectives learned from, family, friends, and neighbors that Patricia and Michael Torbicki were experiencing problems in their marriage and divorce were impending. Patricia had left the home weeks before the incident bringing their son to stay at her parents. But Detectives said days prior, “Patricia Torbicki returned to the home to sleep there at night, under the premise that she was not abandoning her home for future litigation.”

The couple’s son told police that he was aware his parents were going to get a divorce. He said his father was, “…an ex-marine that suffered from depression, mental health issues, and alcoholism” and his mother had tried to work things out. The son told police that his mother asked her husband to find help and when he refused she asked him to find another place to live The son told police he thought his dad was scared to find help, but his mother moved him out to be in a better environment, and he was not at their home that day.

Patricia Torbicki or Patti as friends called her was a dedicated Sunday school teacher at Mill Pond Church and sang for their worship group. She has two sisters, one of them a twin, and friends that put together a GoFundMe page for her said: "she was a vibrant, beautiful and selfless person who always put others before herself."

Police said there was a history of officers being called to this house in the past.

The Newington High School field hockey team is participating in the Hartford Marathon this coming weekend to help raise awareness to domestic violence and to raise money to alleviate expenses for the Torbicki’s son to go to college. To donate to the GoFundme page, click here.

Michael Torbicki has been in the hospital ever since the incident and was finally charged on Thursday. He faced a judge on Friday afternoon. Bail was set at $2 million.

To read the full arrest warrant, click here.

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