A mother, father and two children were found dead inside their home outside the nation's capital on Tuesday, and although police wouldn't give details on the cause, they said there was no ongoing threat to the community.
Officers were called about 10:30 a.m. and asked to check on the welfare of residents in a Herndon, Va., home on Point Rider Lane, just across the street from Frying Pan Farm, a popular local park, said Fairfax County police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell.
Police entered the home shortly after noon and found the bodies of the four family members. Police declined to provide any identification pending notification of family.
Caldwell would not discuss whether the case was a murder-suicide, but said that homicide detectives are investigating and that there is no public safety threat.
Police officials did not immediately know the last time Fairfax County had four dead from a single cause. In November 2000, four members of a Herndon family died in their family home when a 47-year-old man shot his wife and two young daughters before killing himself.
Neighbors were surprised.
Jeremy Wilcox, who lives down the street, said the family had been at a community picnic Sunday and showed no signs of any problem. He said the father would frequently be on his front porch waving to cars as they passed by, and that he sometimes stuck a plow on the front of his truck to clear a path for neighborhood cars when there was a snowstorm.
Another woman, who declined to give her name because of privacy concerns, said she knew the family through various youth sports played by the two boys.
"It seems completely out of character," she said, wiping away tears.
By MATTHEW BARAKAT Associated Press
WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
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