Five family members, including three children, were found dead Thursday in their Minnesota lakeside home in what police are calling a murder-suicide.
South Lake Minnetonka police conducted a welfare check on the family at 12:21 p.m. local time at their Greenwood house after no one had heard from them in a few days, Interim Chief Mike Siitari told The Associated Press. Siitari didn’t release any information on how the family died, but said there appeared to be “no threat or danger to the community.”
A co-worker of the father had asked police to check on the family, Siitari said. The children had not been in school for the last two days.
Authorities didn’t release the identities of those killed, but a posting on the father’s work website identified the adult victims as Brian and Karen Short, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The posting said the Shorts' three teenaged children were also killed.
Siitari said the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office was processing a "complex crime scene."
"Obviously it's an extremely tragic event and it's going to take some time to sort through," he said.
The home, built in 1998 in an upscale western Minneapolis neighborhood, is near Lake Minnetonka’s St. Albans Bay, according to the newspaper. The Shorts bought the home in 2011 for $2 million, according to Hennepin County records. The couple had three teenage children, all students at Minnetonka High School.
Neighbor Toni Plante told the Star Tribune the parents were “at every single soccer game.”
She noted their absence at their daughter Brooklyn’s game Tuesday, the first day of school. Her daughter said Brooklyn, a freshman, wasn’t at school.
“Brooklyn is a really good student, and it wouldn’t be like her to miss the first day of school,” Plante said.
She told the paper she sent a text to Brooklyn’s mother Wednesday evening asking if her daughter was all right. She never heard back.
“This is just too sad,” she said. “They were the nicest people in the world. There was nothing snooty about them at all. They were just down to earth.”
Police officers had sealed off Channel Drive, a wooded cul-de-sac leading toward the bay on the lake. A sign at the entrance to the cul-de-sac read “Children playing.” The family’s house wasn’t visible beyond the police line, according to aerial footage seen on KSTP-TV.
Brian Short is the founder of AllNurses.com, a resource portal for nurses. An online biography at the site said Short lived outside Minneapolis with his wife and three children.
The biography describes Short as a one-time nursing student and entrepreneur who built and launched the website in the late 1990s when he couldn't find nursing-related information online.
An administrator of AllNurses.com posted a notice Thursday night saying that the family had been killed. The note called it "a very tragic loss for the extended families, friends, co-workers, and this nursing community."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.