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Dad suspected of killing wife, kids, self was subject of bizarre 2015 disappearance

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. -- A Virginia man who police say is believed to have killed his wife, his two young daughters, and himself on Thursday was the subject of a bizarre missing person case last year that drew national headlines.

CBS affiliate WUSA reports a man who identified himself as Lance Buckley called 911 Thursday morning and said he wanted to report three murders and a suicide at a home in Stafford County. He then hung up. When deputies arrived, they found 35-year-old Lance Buckley, his wife Amy, 30, and the couple’s daughters, five-year-old Claire and 17-month-old Abigail dead.

In a case that drew the national spotlight in May 2015, Lance Buckley, at the time a Howard University doctoral student, vanished on his way from his home in Stafford County to the Washington, D.C. school. Buckley was set to graduate from the school in days and was on his way to pick up his graduation packet, local media reported at the time. His wife Amy had given birth to their second daughter eleven days prior.

Local news video showed Amy Buckley holding their newborn, tearfully begging for his return. Family said at the time that the disappearance was out of character for him.

“I just want you home, I love you,” said his wife, Amy Buckley. “You’re the love of my life.”

At one point, deputies said he was believed to be in possession of his gun, but family insisted he wasn’t a danger to anyone.

Deputies received a clue when his phone “pinged” at Blockhouse Point Conservation Park in Montgomery County, Maryland. The heavily wooded park that borders the Potomac River is about 30 miles northwest of Howard University.

Buckley was later found at a campground in Brunswick, Md., near the state’s border with West Virginia, according to the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office. The campground is about 60 miles northwest of Howard University.

The circumstances surrounding the disappearance have remained unclear.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately release the causes of death for the family.

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