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Mass Murder

Dad, 2 sons found dead with gunshot wounds; Upstate New York police search for woman who may be injured


In this photo downloaded from the New York State Police website, Sarwat Lodhi, is shown. Lodhi is missing and police fear that she may be injured and a fourth victim after three members of her immediate family were found dead from gunshot wounds in Pleasant Valley, 75 miles north of New York City. (New York State Police)

A father and his 9-year-old and 13-year-old sons were shot to death and investigators were searching their New York town using canines and air units for a woman related to them they believe was also injured, state police said Thursday.

The father, identified as Abbas Lodhi, 49, and one of his sons were found dead in a car parked at a supermarket in the Hudson Valley town of Pleasant Valley around 8:30 a.m. Thursday, said Capt. John Ryan of the state police investigative unit in Dutchess County.

After those bodies were found, police went to the family home and found the other boy shot dead.

The sons were identified as Zain Lodhi, 9, and Mugthba Lodhi, 13. Police didn't immediately specify which boy was found at which location.

Ryan said a shotgun believed to have been used in the killing was found with the car.

Ryan declined to discuss whether the deaths were the result of a murder-suicide, but called the deaths a "family tragedy" and said there is not a public safety concern.

A fourth family member, 43-year-old Sarwat Lodhi, was still missing Thursday night and police said she was believed to be a victim and may have been injured.

Authorities have stopped short of saying how she was injured or whether she was the children's mother, saying only that she was a member of the immediate family.

Ryan said the motive was unclear.

"I think it's one of the most or more tragic things I have seen," Ryan said at a news conference. "I find myself having two young boys that — it's emotional seeing what has happened to these kids. I couldn't even put into words how tragic it is for all of us."

Pleasant Valley is a town of about 9,000 residents about 75 miles north of New York City, near Poughkeepsie.

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