PHOENIX (AP) — Two twin infants were among the five family members found dead inside their north Phoenix home in what now is being investigated as a murder-suicide, authorities said Thursday.
Police said two adults and three children had obvious signs of trauma, but the causes of death haven’t been released yet.
The five were identified Thursday by police as 44-year-old Jasen Michael Hudgens, 40-year-old Marla Jordan Hudgens and the couple’s three kids — 3-year-old Christopher and two 6-month-old twin girls, Gwen and Faye.
Authorities said Jasen Hudgens is believed to be the lone suspect in the homicide case and was found with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.
Police said details about what led up to the incident remain under investigation, but early information indicates there was open propane tanks inside the home and a gas line that wasn’t attached to a kitchen appliance.
The Hudgens’ babysitter reportedly called 911 after entering the home Wednesday morning and finding one of the dead bodies.
Police, city firefighters and hazardous materials teams were dispatched to the scene about a possible gas leak and authorities said the presence of gas was detected at the home.
Police officers didn’t go inside the house for several hours over safety concerns, but reported finding the five bodies after the house was secured around noon.
“Not only is this devastating to the first responders that had to respond and witness what’s inside, but this neighborhood is very close-knit including the extended loved ones and family members that are related to this home and this residence,” said Sgt. Melissa Soliz, a police spokesperson who called the incident “a complete tragedy.”