In what appears to be a murder-suicide that may have been premeditated by one or both parents, four members of the same family were discovered dead in a house south of downtown New Orleans, Louisiana, on Thursday.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph P. Lopinto III told reporters that the family was found in a Harvey, Louisiana, house after a man contacted 911 at 7:50 a.m. local time and said that officers would find four victims.
His parents, he added, were upstairs in a bedroom. The whereabouts of the other two fatalities, a man in his twenties and a youngster of fourteen, were unknown.
Police are still trying to contact relatives in Louisiana before releasing their identities, but Lopinto said the father had been a police officer. The man’s employer, which he did not name, was not revealed.
The sheriff said the 20-year-old was the man’s stepson and the woman’s biological son. On Thursday, a representative for the sheriff’s department confirmed that they were still investigating the teen’s parentage.
Lopinto also said that he was to be suffering financial issues, calling it a “destitute situation.”
“The house is pretty deplorable inside itself, but there are some notes along with weapons that indicate it looks like it’s going to be some type of murder-suicide, either by one or by two,” he informed media.
The coroner’s office will make the ultimate conclusion, but Lopinto said, “some of the information could make me believe they decided to do this together, the parents.”
“I don’t want to speculate too much as that may not be the case, but let us look into it,” he said, warning that the sheriff’s office is investigating.
Lopinto said it was “more than one weapon accessible,” although it is unknown what kind of weapons or how many were really used.
Because of the continuing investigation, a representative for the sheriff’s office refused to answer any more questions from NBC News.
Lopinto informed the media that he had not heard of any previous calls to 911 from the residence.
Lopinto said the murders followed a murder-suicide that occurred in the vicinity at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday and resulted from an altercation between two brothers.