A Turlock, Calif. family of four has been found dead in what looks like a murder-suicide. Police received a phone call from a relative of the family on Thursday asking for a well-being check because they hadn’t been able to contact any members of this family, according to MSN News on June 27.
Police discovered the four bodies inside the house along with signs that someone attempted to set the house on fire. The victims were an elderly couple, a 78-year-old man and his 69-year-old wife. The two younger victims were the two adult sons of the couple. The sons were 39 and 42-years-old.
The names of the family have not been released by police, although neighbors say the elderly couple's names were Rozmary and Sarkis Babakhan. It is not immediately clear how the family members died, but police said their bodies were found in various rooms around the house.
KCRA.com reports that the police arrived at the up-scale home about 10 p.m. on Thursday and because the smell coming from the home was thought to be gas, police donned gas masks when going in. It was later determined that the smell was from the decomposition of the bodies.
The officials from the Turlock Fire Department are also investigating parts of the home that appeared to have been burned. Along with the murder-suicide, it appears there was an attempt of arson at the house.
While the preliminary police reports that this tragedy was a murder-suicide, it is not official, as the investigation is on-going. It is not known which family member was the person who took the lives of the family before killing themselves.
Police report that the family had been dead about 24 hours before police had arrived at the house. Police said this is an isolated incident and there is no danger at all to the public. CBS News local is reporting that the neighbors are shocked to hear about this murder-suicide of this family.
They said that the couple’s grown sons lived with them and one was described as disabled. Neighbors said that the husband had just retired and they never heard any arguing or fighting going on within the family. They cannot imagine which family member would have killed the others before taking their own life.