Unanswered questions swirl after Iowa father shoots wife and two young sons dead before killing himself
According to the autopsies conducted on the dead family, police said the husband killed his wife and two children before killing himself
Police authorities on Monday said an Iowa Department of Public Safety employee, his wife and their two sons who were found dead in their home over the weekend and are being considered victims of a murder-suicide.
The bodies of Chandrasekhar Sunkara,44, Lavanya Sunkara, 41, their 15-year-old and 10-year-old sons were found in their home with gunshot wounds on Saturday morning, authorities said.
The West Des Moines Police Department, which is probing the case, said they were confident that there was no threat to the community, but they didn't say why.
According to the autopsies conducted on the dead family, police said that it indicated that the boys and their mother were homicide victims and that Sunkara died by suicide. On Sunday, June 16, police officials had said that other family members, two adults and two children, were staying in the home as guests.
According to reports, when the bodies were discovered, one of the relatives, whom police described as a "survivor," ran outside looking for help and found a passerby, who called 911. "Officials are working with surviving family members to provide support. Investigators are continuing to review evidence and conduct interviews," the police added.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the Sunkaras," the DPS said in a statement. The Department of Public Safety said on Sunday that Chandrasekhar, who was known as Chandra, was a 44-year-old Indian-American IT professional in the agency's Technology Services Bureau.
Shrikar Somayajula, a co-owner of and partner in A Grade Ahead, an after-school enrichment academy in Des Moines, said the boys, whose names haven't been released because they were juveniles, were star students who represented the school in national scholastic competitions and "wanted to go to one of the elite Ivy League colleges."
"This tragedy will impact family, friends, co-workers, anyone that knew this family," Sergeant Dan Wade said in a statement. "We are continuing to work through this investigation. We will follow through until we have answered as many questions as the evidence allows. We are confident, though, that there is no continuing threat to the community."
"You don't see something like this happen in the Indian community, let alone a heinous act like this," said Somayajula. "The family was a very friendly family and so it is really painful. We have more questions than answers now as to why this happened and we will probably never find out why this happened."