A grisly scene in which a father and his three young children were found dead on Saturday is believed to have been a murder-suicide, according to police.
The scene was first discovered by a woman walking her dogs around 7:30 a.m. local time on Saturday as she made her way through a neighborhood in Oklahoma City. In a car, the jogger found four dead bodies, including a man and his three children, all under the age of seven, KOCO News reported.
Oklahoma City Police were first notified that something might be wrong a few hours earlier, around 4:30 a.m. when a request for a welfare check was called in. According to the call, the father had made several threatening statements before leaving home with the three children.
“Dad had left the house with his three small children, made threatening statements, so we were in the area for several hours looking for him and the children,” Oklahoma City Police Capt. Michelle Henderson told local news station, KWTV.
The man and his children were ultimately found only half a mile from the house they had left earlier. Police are still conducting an investigation into the incident, and for the time being it is unclear what the father’s motives were or why he chose to drive before killing his children and then himself. More details will reportedly be released on Monday, according to Oklahoma News 4.
The identities of the father and his children have not been disclosed to the public at this time. Police confirmed on Saturday that the mother of the children had been notified.
“This is a tragic situation; a lot of emotions are involved,” Henderson added. “So, we want to always be cognizant and sympathetic to that and make sure nobody finds out on the TV or the social media before we have a chance to speak to someone.”
Speaking with KWTV on the promise of anonymity, the woman who first discovered the dead bodies explained that she first suspected something was wrong due to the fact that the “car was running and it was parked three feet from the curb.” Passing by the vehicle multiple times, she noted that the man did not appear to move and remained reclined in his seat.
“I did start to suspect that maybe the guy wasn’t alive in the car, so I went to the passenger side where the window was cracked only a little bit, in case he was drunk or belligerent,” she said. “When I went over to the window, it didn’t cross my mind that anybody else was in the car. When I saw that blood, I didn’t go any further. I didn’t need to see what was in there.”
Not having her phone at the time, the woman approached nearby resident, Amy Robinson, who called 911.
“It’s tragic,” Robinson told KOCO. “I mean, I just can’t… comprehend how anybody could do that to a child.”
Newsweek reached out to the Oklahoma City Police for comment.