DELTONA, Fla. – Four men and two women were found slain in a home Friday after one of them failed to show up for an early morning shift at a nearby Burger King (search), and authorities said the killer was apparently at large.
"It appears that we have a murderer on the loose," Volusia County Sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson (search) said.
Sheriff Ben Johnson did not offer a possible motive or specify how the victims died. "There was an extreme level of violence," he said.
Davidson said the bodies, along with a dead dog, were found in different rooms of the three-bedroom home in Deltona, about 25 miles north of Orlando (search).
The victims, whose names were not immediately released, ranged in age from 18 to mid-30s, and they did not appear to be related.
The bodies were discovered after one victim's co-worker at Burger King called a friend and asked the person to visit the home because the victim had not arrived for work, officials said.
In a statement, Burger King said "the victims of the tragedy" worked at a Deltona franchise, and that the franchisee was working with local officials and the company during the investigation. A company spokeswoman declined to clarify whether all the victims worked at the restaurant. The franchisee did not return calls for comment.
The restaurant, about two miles from the house, posted a sign reading, "Sorry temporarily closed. Sorry for the inconvenience."
Deputies sealed off the area around the house, which tax records show is owned by a man from the Brooklyn borough of New York.
One man at the scene said his 19-year-old daughter, Michelle Ann Nathan, was one of the victims. Steve Nathan said the teen moved into the house about three months ago, and her boyfriend had joined her last month. He said his daughter and others in the house worked at Burger King.
"She was a fun-loving kid," Nathan told the Orlando Sentinel.
He said his daughter had been stationed in Missouri with the Army but was recently released because of a medical condition.
Aerial footage showed a team of investigators donning white protective suits in the front yard of the house, in a tidy, residential area of middle-class homes. Neighbors stood on corners talking, while children rode through on bicycles.