4 children, dad found dead in Georgia home; mom detained

Last Updated Jul 6, 2017 4:15 PM EDT

LOGANVILLE, Ga. -- Four young children and their father were found slain in a home outside Atlanta early Thursday, and police say the mother - a suspect in the case - was the one who called 911 to report the killings.

The five were apparently stabbed to death. A fifth child, a girl, survived and was hospitalized with injuries described as serious, police said.

CBS affiliate WGCL reports that police detained Isabel Cartuna Martinez, mother to all five children and wife of the father, after the bodies were found inside the home in Loganville. Police issued a statement her a "suspect" in the deaths, although no charges have been filed.

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Isabel Cartuna Martinez 

Gwinnett County police via WGCL

Police have not said whether she was injured.

"Right now we believe we have everybody involved in this crime," Gwinnett County police Cpl. Michele Pihera
 said, adding that she does not want people in the community to think that a dangerous person is at large.

"What her motivations are for committing this horrendous crime, we still don't know," Pihera said.

Pihera told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the mother was speaking Spanish in the 911 call, which initially made it difficult for operators to communicate with her.

Early indications are that a knife was used to attack the five, though a medical examiner will make the final determination about the cause of death, she said.

The hospitalized girl was still alive late Thursday morning, police said in a brief update on the case.

The four children killed appear to be under age 10, Pihera said. Their slain fathe was in his mid-30s, she said.

Outside the single-story home with white paneling and black shutters, neighbors sat in their front yards. Crime scene tape surrounded the home and parts of the yard in the Loganville area, about 30 miles east of Atlanta.

Some neighbors in the small, largely Hispanic neighborhood said they had no clue anything was amiss in the home until police mobbed the scene Thursday morning. The neighbors said the Spanish-speaking family had moved to the community recently, and their children seemed happy playing with other neighborhood kids.

Neighbor Letty Perez told WGCL that Martinez had recently lost her father and the family had only lived in the home for about a month after moving to Georgia from Illinois.

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A man and several children were found dead at a home in Loganville.

WGCL

"She says her dad passed away months ago," said Perez. "I think she was in a depression. You can tell when somebody doesn't like their kids. They will scream or yell but she wasn't like that. She was a nice mom."

Jim Hollandsworth, spokesman at The Path Project, a nonprofit organization that runs an after-school program that the family's children participated in. said the family had been in the community for a few months. While the children spoke English as a second language, he said, they were fluent.

"It's awful. It's devastating. Everyone is in complete shock," he said. "The kids were engaged in what we're doing. They were happy. They were fantastic kids with a bright future."