The bodies of five people, including three young children, were found Saturday afternoon on a sprawling property with several structures in northeast Houston, police said.

A neighbor made the grisly discovery after seeing a man's body on porch next to a .22-caliber rifle, said police Lt. Dan Harris.

The bodies of a woman and a boy were found in a shack on the property, Harris said. The bodies of a boy and girl were found in another shack. The children were believed to be between ages 4 and 9.

Investigators declined to speculate on the causes of death, although they said there were no obvious signs of a struggle. They also declined to release identities of the victims or say whether they were related.

Neighbors said a family with three children lived on the property for the past six or seven years. The father had built the home himself.

The man was last seen alive as recently as Friday afternoon, witnesses told police. Next-door neighbor Sally Potts said the man and the girl walked one of the family's four dogs on Thursday.

Potts said she hadn't heard gunshots, arguing or unusual noise coming from the house.

Besides the dogs, the family kept a horse, a bull and several goats on the property, neighbors said.

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