Four family members were found dead in what police believe is a Turlock murder-suicide. The older couple and their two sons were found in their California home by another family member Thursday evening. The investigation is in its early stages, but there is some information available regarding what authorities believe happened.
According to The Modesto Bee, the Turlock murder-suicide involved the Babakhan family. The four found dead in the home are said to be Sarkis Babakhan, 78, his wife Rozmary, 70, and their two sons. The older son, 42, is said to have Down syndrome. The younger son, 39, had legally changed his name to Rodney Bowman from the name Radni Babakhan. It seems that both sons lived at the home with their parents.
At this point a cause of death has not been revealed by investigators. Autopsies are expected to be done on Tuesday. Those investigating the scene on Friday were wearing gas masks, as there was reportedly a smell of gas in the home. Police spokeswoman Mayra Lewis indicated that firefighters were present as there had been an element of arson involved. Police believe that the killer may have tried to cover up the killings by setting a fire before killing himself.
Though the suspected killer has not been identified, authorities indicate that they are confident it was one of the four dead in the suspected Turlock murder-suicide. At this point it has only been confirmed that Rozmary Babakhan is not a suspect. It is expected that after the autopsies the police will reveal more details indicating who they believe killed the others, along with some information regarding the causes of death and motive.
MSN adds that the four bodies were found in various areas throughout the home, and it is believed the family had been dead for at least 24 hours when they were found. Reportedly several parts of the home had been burned, seemingly indicating the reason authorities suspected an attempt at a cover-up via arson. Lewis indicated that the cause of death was not immediately clear, but the preliminary investigation does indicate the Turlock scene was a murder-suicide.
Authorities have said that the incident poses no danger to the community, so clearly they are feeling certain that the person responsible is one of the family members found in the home. Neighbors are in shock over the deaths, recalling instances of the father gardening or the mother taking walks. The older son with special needs was often seeing being picked up by a van to be taken to appointments or activities. These types of murder-suicide scenes are always heartbreaking for those who knew the people involved. Many have their theories about what happened in the Turlock murder-suicide in terms of which Babakhan family member was responsible, but it seems the authorities will not be saying much more until the autopsies are done in the coming days.
[Image via KCRA]