Veterinarian, parents murdered at their western Kentucky home


Police are still searching for a motive in the triple homicide.

Emily Champion's Facebook page remains online. There are photos of the young veterinarian's arms draped around horses and pets-a photo of her on horseback at age 14 with her father, Lindsey, and another from May with her mom's arm wrapped around her, both smiling at the camera.

Kentucky State Police were called at 11:44 a.m. Oct. 26 to the Champion residence on Old Dover Road in Cadiz, Kentucky. State police found four people shot to death in and around the residence, including veterinarian Emily Champion, 31. Champion was a veterinarian at Baronne Veterinary Clinic Equine Medical and Surgical Facility in Sunset, Louisiana. She was found along with her parents, Lindsey and Joy Champion.

Details from the events of Sunday morning are still limited. Kentucky police say a motive is yet unknown. It is believed that the suspect, Vito Riservato, 22, also found dead at the scene, may have known the family briefly prior to the shooting. Detectives are investigating any ties between the Champion family and the suspect, who lived 20 miles away in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

Baronne Veterinary Clinic posted the loss on their clinic Facebook page early Monday morning: "We are saddened to report the passing of our Dr. Emily Champion. Her passion and love for her clients, horses and human, is a gift we will cherish forever."

The clinic's staff page shares that Champion grew up on a small farm in Cadiz where she was active in the American and local quarter horse associations and many other activities. She attended Western Kentucky University and majored in animal science and biochemistry; she graduated from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. She completed an internship in equine medicine and surgery in South Carolina and joined Baronne Veterinary Clinic in April 2009. Outside of work, the website says, Champion enjoyed travel, cooking, hiking, reading and her Weimaraner dog, Skyler.

Messages followed the clinic's post. "This is so tragically sad. … She was a sweetheart. My prayers and thoughts go out to all of you and her remaining family and friends," Toni Bordelon Hebert posted on the Facebook page. Vickie Robert Stevens wrote, "My thoughts and prayers are with the staff at Baronne Veterinary Clinic and the Champion family. Her friends, family and the animals she care for have suffered a great loss."

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