This is gut-wrenching…
Five female relatives — including three minor children — were found dead by a family member who entered their rural Arkansas home for a Christmas Day visit. All five girls and women were shot to death by an unknown assailant some time prior to that, according to the Pope County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident occurred at a rural residence in the area near the small town of Atkins, Arkansas. The family member had entered the home on Christmas Day to spend time with relatives, when that person found everyone deceased and immediately notified law enforcement.
According to Pope County Sheriff’s Deputies who first arrived on scene, the five dead included two adult women and three young children. The five victims ranged in age from just 8 years old all the way up to a 50-year-old woman.
Authorities would not go into what they believe the motive to be, or why all five women would have been killed so mercilessly, but they did note their belief that the homicides were “an isolated incident, and do not feel that there is any continued danger to the local public.”
Furthermore, Pope County Sheriff Shane Jones said in a press conference on Saturday that the suspect is believed to be among those dead, potentially making the incident a murder-suicide. All five individuals were shot; their identities continue to remain anonymous, according to a report from THV News 11 in Arkansas.
Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas State Crime Lab are involved in the ongoing investigation, having been called into the rural scene to render aid.
For his part, Jones was nearly overcome with grief in reporting the incident to the news media afterwards. At one point, he said:
“It’s rare anywhere. We just need to pray for a family that’s just been devastated.”
No kidding. We can’t even imagine…
Here’s a THV News 11 report from Saturday with more information about the incident, including reporting from neighbors’ homes near the scene and a longer look at the sheriff’s press conference:
Such a horrible, horrible tragedy — especially for those three children who lost their lives way too soon.
Ugh. There’s not much to say after something like this. May those victims rest in peace, and may their family members one day find comfort and closure, however difficult that may be… Just awful…
[Image via THV News 11/YouTube]