Motive Not Yet Determined For The Murder Of An Iowa Family Of Four

A couple and their two sons were found shot to death in their Des Moines neighborhood home.

Police tape hangs between two pillars.
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A couple and their two sons were found shot to death in their Des Moines neighborhood home.

A tragedy occurred in a neighborhood in Des Moines, Iowa, that has left the community reeling. A family of four was discovered shot dead in their home on Saturday morning. The parents were 44-year-old Chandrasekhar Sunkara and 41-year-old Lavanya Sunkara. Their sons, a 15-year-old and a 10-year-old, were also shot dead but their names have not yet been publicly released because they are underage. As of now, the possible motive for the crime has not yet been revealed, according to NBC News.

Chandrasekhar, who went by Chandra, was an employee for the Iowa Department of Public Safety. He served as a civilian information technology professional in the agency’s Technology Services Bureau. Meanwhile, the two boys were said to be great students with high hopes for the future. They were bright boys who frequently took part in academic competitions.

Shrikar Somayajula, a co-owner of and partner in the school enrichment program entitled A Grade Ahead, spoke highly of the boys whose lives were taken far too soon, saying that they “wanted to go to one of the elite Ivy League colleges.”

“[The boys were] really bright children, really heads down. The family was a very friendly family, so it’s really painful,” Somayajula said.

He went on to explain the utter shock the tragedy was to the community. The fact that right now so little is known about what actually happened or who committed the crime makes it all the more painful. He fears that the family’s loved ones might not ever know all the details regarding the way everything took place.

“You don’t see something like this happen in the Indian community, let alone a heinous act like this. We have more questions than answers now as to why this happened, and we will probably never find out.”

At the time the incident took place, the Sunkara family had been having some family members staying with them in their home. Two were adults and two were children. It was one of the family members that ultimately discovered the bodies and ran for help.

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The police have not yet revealed whether or not they have a suspect in custody in relation to the crime. However, they have said they are not concerned that there is an ongoing threat to the community.

West Des Moines police Sgt. Dan Wade released a public statement about the investigation, according to Fox News.

“This tragedy will impact family, friends, co-workers, anyone that knew this family. We are continuing to work through this investigation.”