Man formally charged in killings of Indiana woman, 3 kids

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — A man accused of killing a woman and her three young children in a northeastern Indiana home was formally charged Tuesday with four counts of murder.

Allen County prosecutors filed the charges against Cohen B. Hancz-Barron, 21, who had been held on preliminary murder counts since his June 2 arrest. He remained jailed without bond Tuesday.

Online court records do not reflect any scheduled court hearings for Hancz-Barron, nor list an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

The bodies of Sarah Nicole Zent, 26; her sons, Carter Matthew Zent, 5; Ashton Duwayne Zent, 3; and daughter, Aubree Christine Zent, 2, were found on June 2 in a Fort Wayne home.

A man and woman who had become worried about the family called 911 after finding their bodies. As officers approached the home, the couple yelled, “He killed them. They’re dead,” according to court records.

A police spokesman said officers found a “gruesome” scene inside the home — all three children dead face down on a bed and their mother kneeling beside it, also dead.

All four had died of stab wounds, and Zent had also been strangled, the Allen County coroner said.

Police said last week they believed Hancz-Barron, described by a witness as Zent’s boyfriend, killed the family early Wednesday and left in a pickup truck he stole from a neighbor.

He was arrested hours later at an apartment complex in Lafayette more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the scene of the killings.