Nancy Kerrigan Family Tragedy

updated 02/08/2010 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/08/2010 01:00AM

Olympic medalist Nancy Kerrigan's life has never lacked for drama: a bizarre 1994 assault plotted by fellow skater Tonya Harding, a glorious glide to Olympic silver, multiple miscarriages on the way to having three beautiful children.

But even by Kerrigan's standards, the death of her dad, Dan, 70, defies imagination. On Jan. 24 he was found on the floor of his Stoneham, Mass., home and pronounced dead hours later, after an apparent attack by Nancy's brother Mark, 45, an Army vet who lived with his parents and struggled with PTSD. According to police, Mark—who pleaded not guilty to an assault charge—put his hands around his father's throat, knocking him down during a dispute over using the telephone. While Dan's wife, Brenda, 69, told the Boston Herald that Dan had died of a heart attack, no official cause of death had been determined at press time.

Now Brenda, Nancy, 40, and brother Michael, 43, must go on without the man who lived for his family. "I can't imagine," says former Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi, "what Nancy is feeling."

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