Homicide

American Red Cross doctor suspected of killing family in murder-suicide

The man police say is responsible for killing his wife, son, and dog in an apparent murder-suicide has been identified as the medical director of the Nevada American Red Cross.

The bodies of Dr. John Lunetta, his wife, Karen Jackson, and his son who was one day away from his first birthday were found Monday in their home in Las Vegas. Police at the scene said Lunetta was responsible for the deaths. Las Vegas Police Lt. Dan McGrath said “he is clearly the suspect,” according to the Review Journal.

“We don’t know why he did this,” said McGrath.

The bodies were found after relatives called police requesting a welfare check. Relatives then entered the home and found the bodies of the couple, their son, and the pet dog.

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McGrath added that Lunetta was a legal gun owner and had called police about a recent custody issue, but there was no physical violence involved. There were no previous reports of domestic violence.

Neighbors responded to the discovery of the bodies with surprise. Neighbor Aaron Alagic told KSNV “none of this stuff happens around here,” and said he was “kind of shocked in a way.”

Neighbors told the Review Journal they “never saw the couple fight or argue, but rumors emerged after the bodies were discovered.” Neighbors reported they had seen a moving truck in front of the home last week and wondered if Jackson was leaving the home. Jackson also had a 10-year-old daughter who was not present or harmed in the crime. 

Sylvia Rico, a survivor of domestic abuse, left a rock at a memorial for the family.

“I left a rock there to memorialize the family,” she said to KSNV. “It’s unfortunate that she didn’t speak to someone, or him either. There are lots of resources.”

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Rico also told KSVN “if you are afraid of your spouse or if you are afraid of the situation, always listen to your gut instinct. Just leave. Just disappear.”

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department urges anyone with information to contact them at (702) 828-3521 or homicide@lvmpd.com. To come forward anonymously, you can contact Crime Stoppers at (702) 385-5555, www.crimestoppersofnv.com or text CRIMESNV and tip information to 274637 (CRIMES). Message and data rates may apply.