LITHOPOLIS, Ohio — Two young boys were among a family of four found dead inside a Fairfield County home Wednesday morning.
Fairfield County Sheriff Alex Lape says the case is being investigated as a murder-suicide.
Deputies and officers from the Lithopolis Police Department, along with Bloom Township Fire, responded to a reported shooting before 10 a.m. in the 300 block of Westview Terrance.
Lape told 10TV when first responders entered the home, they found the bodies of parents 29-year-old Kiara Anderson and 30-year-old Joseph Anderson, as well as their two kids, 5-year-old Joseph Anderson Jr. and 2-year-old Jeffery Anderson.
In a release sent Wednesday afternoon, Lape said it appears that the mother and the kids were intentionally killed and Joseph's death was an apparent suicide.
Lape said officials were alerted after Joseph texted someone about what he had done. That person then contacted the authorities.
Lithopolis Police Chief Jay Barton issued a statement to community members on Thursday, in part thanking the responding agencies, as well as the dispatchers who handled Wednesday’s calls. Additionally, he asked for community members to keep the family of those involved in their thoughts.
“I have personally spoken with some of the family members and one of the toughest parts of this job is telling someone that their loved one is gone,” Barton’s statement reads in part. “They are grieving. This community is grieving.”
Investigators said deputies had no previous calls to the address and authorities had no prior contact with the family.
The sheriff says family members are headed to Lithopolis from out of town and out of state.
For those who are struggling during this time, know there is help. The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255.