Family Of 5 Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide

CBS News, News 9

A couple and three young children were found fatally shot at their Delaware home in what police described Tuesday as a murder-suicide. Delaware State Police identified the couple in a news release as Matthew Edwards, 42, and his wife, Julie Edwards, 41. Police did not release their children's names, but said they included a 4-year-old girl and two boys, 6 and 3, respectively.

Troopers called to the Prices Corner home Monday night found Julie Edwards and the three children dead in the home from apparent gunshot wounds and Matthew Edwards dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. The bodies were turned over to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science, which ruled their deaths murder and suicide by gunshot.

Neighbor Wilfredo Rivera, 60, said Tuesday that he saw the father and children at their home Sunday and spoke to Matthew Edwards. The children were playing with scooters and Edwards was cooking and going in and out of the home, he said.

"He told me he was having marital problems," Rivera said.

The couple had lived there for more than a decade and the husband had lost his job and took one in Virginia, he said.

"He seemed like an average guy," he said. "He would come outside with his kids and play."

"This is just so sad," neighbor Alisha Garvin told CBS Philadelphia.

Garvin says she heard the bang of explosions around 12 p.m. Monday, but at first didn't think anything of it.

"It just sounded like pop, pop, pop, like firecrackers and didn't pay it any mind because the Fourth was just a few days ago," said Garvin. "Didn't pay it no mind at all."

Garvin then says a child who was supposed to sleep over at the house was dropped off around 7:30 p.m., walked inside and discovered the bodies.

"A neighbor said she watched him get out of the red truck, go inside and then rush right out," said Garvin. "So apparently he had to have found them because no one else was around."

At the brown clapboard home Tuesday, there was a for-sale sign on a Ford F-150 that had a red, white, and blue hardhat in the back. An upstairs window air conditioner was still running.

Brian Covenko, who lives across the street told The News Journal that he last talked to Matthew Edwards around Memorial Day.

"I'm just shocked. There was no way to prepare for this," he said.

"Our kids played together. We've been over to barbecues. Every time he was here, he was playing with his kids. I don't know what happened inside of doors, but I know he was outside with his kids a lot."

Some of the information in this news story may have been provided by law enforcement with the request News 9 inform the public of, and/or assist in locating a person in connection with, a police investigation. News 9 can make no independent verification of the accuracy of the information, photographs and/or video provided to it by police or other law enforcement agencies.