Man, 2 Daughters Killed In Apparent Murder-Suicide


UPDATED: Friday December 4, 2009 6:21 PM

Members of the community were searching for answers Friday after a man apparently shot and killed his two daughters before turning the gun on himself.

The bodies of Daniel Dobson, 44, and his daughters, Nicole Dobson, 15 and Sarah Dobson, 11, were discovered Thursday in their home on Westray Drive, 10TV News reported.

According to police, administrators at one of the girl's schools grew concerned when she failed to show up for classes two days this week.   Nicole Dobson was a freshman at Westerville Central High School while Sarah Dobson attended St. Paul Elementary.

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"We got a call from the grade school," said Westerville police Lt. John Petrozzi.  "She hadn't been in school.  They tried to contact her, they were unable to, so they asked us to come out and do a well-being check."

Neighbors said they last saw Daniel Dobson in his garage at about 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

Investigators said Dobson and his daughters were found shot to death in the same bedroom.  A note was found inside the home but police did not elaborate on what it said.

Authorities said Daniel Dobson and the girls' mother divorced in April of this year and had shared custody of their daughters.  An arrest warrant for Daniel Dobson's arrest was issued Thursday because he missed a court appearance for a hit-skip charge, 10TV News reported.

On Thursday night, neighbors and friends gathered near the Dobson home.  Some left items near the home while others held candles. 

Both of the girls' schools said grief counselors would be at the buildings on Friday to offer help to other students.

While there is no national database tracking murder-suicides, a University of Florida researcher recorded 145 murder-suicides in Ohio from 2000 to 2008.

Six cases occurred in central Ohio during the past six months, with most involving two people, 10TV News reported.

The most recent occurred last month, when a Pataskala man killed his wife and child before taking his own life.

Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for additional information.

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December 3, 2009: 3 Found Dead In Westerville Home