Family Stayed Up to Celebrate. Police Suspect Murder-Suicide

Four people are found dead in New Mexico home
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 26, 2019 6:30 PM CST
Family Stayed Up to Celebrate. Police Suspect Murder-Suicide
Authorities work the scene where multiple people were found dead in a home in the Northern Meadows subdivision, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019, in Rio Rancho, N.M.   (Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Four people found dead Wednesday in a home in an Albuquerque suburb were members of the same family, and the case is being investigated as a murder-suicide, authorities said Thursday. "This is a tragic event for the family and for the people in our communities. Our officers and detectives understand the impact this incident has on our entire city," Capt. Andrew Rodriguez said in the statement. Rose Varona told KRQE that she’s related to the people who lived at the home and that her brother and mother found the bodies. She said the family of four that lived at the home stayed up late Tuesday to celebrate Christmas Eve. Varona said relatives on Wednesday started to become worried because they had not heard from the family, so her mother and brother went to the home and discovered the bodies.

"We just try to draw the strength from God, even though we don’t understand what’s going on,” Varona said. Authorities cordoned off both ends of the residential street, where some homes were decorated with Christmas lights. The bedroom community has been mostly immune from the violence that has made headlines in neighboring Albuquerque and elsewhere around the state in recent years. New Mexico had the nation’s second-highest violent crime rate in 2018, according to federal data released in October. New Mexico's largest city, Albuquerque, accounted for more than half of the state’s crime overall, despite reporting slight decreases in violent crime and property crime for the first time in years. Albuquerque this year marked a record number of homicides.

(More murder-suicide stories.)

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