A couple celebrating their 50th anniversary were expected at Sunday Mass to renew their vows. Their family and friends waited, but the guests of honor never arrived. Instead, they and another family member were found slain in their home that morning in the suburban city of Newton, Mass., in what the authorities described as a seemingly random attack.

The bodies of the couple — Gilda D’Amore, 73, and Bruno D’Amore, 74 — were found with that of Ms. D’Amore’s mother, Lucia Arpino, 97, with “knife injuries and blunt force trauma” by a friend who had left the service to check what was delaying them, the Middlesex district attorney, Marian T. Ryan, said at a news conference on Monday evening.

The day before, as the authorities searched for the killer, Ms. Ryan had urged residents of the ordinarily quiet city less than 10 miles southwest of Boston to remain vigilant and lock their doors.

And on Monday, more than 24 hours after the grisly discovery, a suspect, Christopher Ferguson, 41, of Newton, was in custody and charged with murder, two counts of assault and battery and burglary, Ms. Ryan said. She noted that only Ms. D’Amore’s autopsy was complete, and that she expected additional charges to follow. “Right now, we do not have any reason to think that it was not a random event,” she said.

The authorities were called to the couple’s home just before 10:15 a.m. after the friend dialed 911, Ms. Ryan said, adding that Ms. D’Amore had suffered more than 30 stabbing and blunt force trauma injuries, primarily to the upper part of her body and her head. Investigators found evidence of forced entry into the basement of the home, including windows that had their screens pried off as well as “obvious signs of struggle” that included broken furniture and a crystal paperweight covered in blood, she added. “We also found in the kitchen a knife with red brown stains,” Ms. Ryan said.

Investigators obtained video footage that shows Mr. Ferguson, without shoes or a shirt, staggering near the D’Amore’s home in the early hours of Sunday morning, Ms. Ryan said. Forensic specialists were able to match his footprints to the bloody bare footprints they had found in the house, she added.

It was not immediately clear on Monday evening whether Mr. Ferguson had legal representation.

The killings shook the city of less than 90,000 people and the congregants of Our Lady Help of Christians, the church where the couple’s family and friends gathered on Sunday morning. According to a letter sent to congregants, Ms. D’Amore was known for beautifying gardens; Mr. D’Amore, for flipping burgers at parish picnics; and Ms. Arpino, for rarely missing a Sunday Mass.

“With the sudden deaths of three beloved elderly parishioners over the weekend, we are immensely shocked and saddened,” Dan Riley, the pastor of the church, said in a statement. “The agony of this tragedy is all too real.”

Alain Delaquérière contributed research.

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