A family of four was found fatally shot to death and investigators are calling it a murder-suicide allegedly carried out by the father.
ABC Eyewitness News is reporting that the victims were found dead in a Santa Clarita residence in Southern California that doubled as a daycare center for local kids on Friday.
Authorities are holding Michael Birnkrant, 51 responsible for the deaths of his wife Amy, 41 and their two children—Drew, 20 and Sean, 11. Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies had gone to the house early Friday after receiving a call from family friend worried about the Birnkrants.
All four family members were pronounced dead at the two-story residence tucked in the foothills of the Los Angeles National Forest, 75 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. Investigators revealed that the bodies were not found in one room, but spread throughout the home.
A handgun was found next to Michael Birnkrant’s body.
Assistant Chief Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office told Santa Clarita Valley Signal that the manner of deaths confirmed that three of the victims were homicide and the fourth was a suicide. According to him, all the four family members sustained gunshot wounds to their upper torso areas.
Michael Birnkrant worked as a driver for a movie studio. While his wife, Amy, a former public school teacher managed a daycare out of their home called Amy’s Corner. Neighbors revealed that the pre-school taught more than a dozen children in the area. They described it as a “beautiful preschool” were the kids had plenty of fun.
Cindy Rolow, a neighbor who lives five doors from the Birnkrants said she was shocked when she heard the news, adding that she often spotted father and son walking holding hands. “We always thought that was cute,” she said.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Lt. Rodney Moore said investigators were presently not seeking for suspects as there was no evidence of a forceful entry. Moore revealed that officials were concentrating on a possible motive for the deaths with evidence underlining that Michael Birnkrant murdered his family.
Neighbors have said that Michael was not friendly as the rest of his family members.