(Reuters) – A family of five was found dead in an apparent murder-suicide in which the father is suspected of shooting his wife and three children, aged 3, 4 and 6 years, in their Delaware home before killing himself, police said on Tuesday.
The bodies were discovered on Monday by a young boy who was supposed to stay at the residence in Prices Corner, west of the state’s biggest city, Wilmington, a neighbor told TV broadcaster CBS Philly.
Alisha Garvin told the broadcaster she heard popping noises at about noon on Monday and did not think anything of it.
The child who was supposed to sleep over at the house was dropped off, walked inside at about 7:30 p.m. on Monday and discovered the bodies, she said. About 30 minutes later, police arrived at the residence.
Delaware State Police did not respond to a request for comment on the report or offer a motive for the incident.
Those found dead were Matthew Edwards, 42, and his wife Julie Edwards, 41, a 6-year-old boy, 4-year-old girl and 3-year-old boy, state police said in a statement.
“The victims were located inside the home deceased,” police said, adding all the family members were shot.
Autopsies are being performed to confirm whether the deaths will be ruled murder-suicide by gunshot, police said.
Reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Peter Cooney