A child in West Virginia has been charged with killing two boys and their parents inside their home, authorities said.
The unidentified man, woman and their two sons, ages 3 and 12, were found dead with gunshot wounds around 10.40am Sunday (US time) in a house in Elkview, WV Metro News reported.
Authorities said a relative went to the home that morning to check on the family after not hearing from them for days.
When he arrived, he found the front door unlocked and three people dead, news station WSAZ reported.
Responding authorities found the fourth victim, the outlet reported.
“We determined immediately on the deputies’ arrival they were all deceased,” Kanawha County Sheriff Mike Rutherford told WV Metro News.
Rutherford said a fifth member of the family — a teenage boy — had been found safe away from the crime scene. He has spoken to authorities.
A juvenile has been charged with murder in connection with the grisly slayings, though it’s unclear whether the child has any relationship to the victims.
Sheriff Rutherford declined to release more information because the suspect is a minor.
No further details were provided about the victims or the circumstances surrounding their deaths.
“We’re in the process now of going through the residence collecting evidence. Right now it’s very, very early,” Sheriff Rutherford told reporters.
Neighbour Tiffany Gandee told 13WOWK the family’s grandfather had discovered the gruesome scene.
She said the mother and father were found dead, with a boy on the floor and a baby under the bed.
Samra Mullins, also a neighbour, told VW Metro news she hadn’t heard anything coming from the nearby home.
“It’s a little nerve-racking. You don’t expect this to be so close to home,” Ms Mullins said.
She said people in the community were on edge after the killings.
“It’s just more stress. You know, we’re dealing with the COVID-19. It’s just more bad news,” Ms Mullins said.