5 found dead in Arkansas home died in murder-suicide, sheriff says


ATKINS, Ark. (NewsNation Now) — Authorities in northwest Arkansas say five female family members found dead in a home on Christmas Day died in a murder-suicide.

Pope County Sheriff Shane Jones said in a statement Monday that evidence collected at the scene led to the murder-suicide determination.

Authorities said the bodies of two women and three girls were found Friday in a home in Atkins, about 65 miles northwest of Little Rock.

Sheriff Jones identified the victims as a 7-year-old, 10-year-old, 12-year-old, 31-year-old and 61-year-old.

He did not provide further details, including who killed the other four people or a motive.

Sheriff Jones asked community members to keep the family in their prayers and thanked the public for their support.

“While all loss of life is heartbreaking, this situation has been particularly tragic” he said. “Anytime children are senselessly taken from those who love them, the pain is beyond compare. When you add to that the loss of the adults involved, the pain is unfathomable.”

NewsNation affiliate KARK and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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