5 Family Members Found Slain in 2 N.C. Homes

Five members of the same family were found slain in homes 10 miles apart, authorities said.

Firefighters found the bodies of a man and woman Thursday inside a burning house near Marshville (search), about 30 miles southeast of Charlotte. Several hours later, investigators went to a mobile home where other family members lived and found the bodies of three more adults in pools of blood.

Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey would not identify the victims, nor discuss how they were related. He said investigators were looking into whether the deaths were a murder-suicide.

Three girls and a boy, all elementary school-age, were found unharmed in an outbuilding of the home that was damaged by fire, Cathey said. They were being cared for by social workers.

Authorities were summoned to the first home when a passer-by noticed smoke. Deputies had been there previously on domestic violence calls, Cathey said.

A neighbor said a couple and their children had lived in the home for about six years.