Three children, two adults of Ohio family found dead with pet dog at their home in suspected murder-suicide
Elyria police have refused to release the identity of the victims until additional family members are notified
ELYRIA, OHIO: Five members of a family, including three children, were found dead inside an Ohio home this past week in what authorities believe is a grisly murder-suicide. The deaths came to light after officers from the City of Elyria Police Department responded to a home on the 530 block of Willow Park road at 8.11 am on Wednesday, July 29, for a wellness check of its residents, according to the Courier Daily.
Linda Bristow, who lives two houses away, shared that a member of the family and her son worked together. After he didn't see him at work, he went to the house and called the authorities after finding bullet casings at the front door. Police Captain Bill Pelko revealed that, when they went inside the home, they found five people later determined to be family members, lifeless — three were children between the ages of six and 12, and two were adults. He said that the family dog had been killed as well.
He said they checked the entire residence and found just one sign of intrusion — two splinter marks in the vinyl siding on the east side of the house that was determined to have been caused by gunfire from the inside. The deaths were also confirmed by Elyria Mayor Frank Whitfield. "It is with great sadness that we share this tragic news," he said in a press release, published in the website cityofelyria. "This has been a challenging year — to say the least. Never did we imagine having to share the news that we’ve lost one of Elyria’s families in this way. Elyria mourns with their family and friends who woke to such tragic news. My heart is broken for this family, in particular, the children. I cannot imagine the pain those close to them must feel and we send our deepest condolences and are here to support them and any of our residents who need our help."
Renetta Hubbard, another neighbor, told News 5 Cleveland that she had heard strange noises from the home and had initially chalked it off for fireworks before later realizing they were gunshots. "About 5:20 am, I heard what sounded like firecrackers going off like 'pop pop pop pop pop'," she said. "He said, 'It sounds like gunshots'. I said, 'I know, but I don’t know where'."
"Like I tell everybody, I’m the nosy neighbor that watches everything but I didn’t see this. If I would’ve known, you know, I would’ve called yesterday," Hubbard added. She went on to say Elyria Police and other investigators were at the scene for hours collecting evidence. "They went into the house and they started putting crime scene tape on it and they made us stand across the street," she said.
Bristow similarly shared that she heard gunshots and screaming of the children but thought it was just because of fireworks. "Now I know why they were running around screaming," she said. The incident is currently under investigation from the Lorain County Coroner's Office but is expected to be ruled a murder-suicide. The names of the victims are being withheld until additional family members are notified.