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Family Of 5 Dead In Murder-Suicide In Sinking Spring

SINKING SPRING, Pa. (CBS/AP) - Authorities say a family of five from Berks County has died in an apparent murder-suicide.

According to officials, the bodies were discovered around 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon in the family's home in a subdivision in Sinking Spring, outside of Reading.

Berks County District Attorney John Adams identified them as as 40-year-old Mark Short, his wife, 33-year-old Megan, and their children, 8-year old Lianna, 5-year-old Mark and 2-year-old Willow. He says they all died of gunshot wounds.

Officers learned from a family member that Megan Short failed to appear for a pre-arranged lunch date which caused concern.

After the family member unsuccessfully attempted to contact Megan on her cell and home phone, the family member contacted the police.

Prior to the officer's arrival, officers learned that Megan lived at the home with her husband and three children.

Additionally, the officer's investigation revealed that there had been "domestic issues" between Megan and her husband Mark.

Upon arrival, officers from the Sinking Spring Borough and Spring Township Police Departments attempted to make contact with the occupants of 51 Winding Brook Drive. After no one answered the door, officers had to make forcible entry into the home.

Once inside the home, officers discovered the family's deceased bodies and a deceased dog in the living room area of the residence. A handgun was discovered near one of the deceased adults.

A handwritten note was discovered in the home which appeared to be a "murder/suicide" note.

On Monday, new details emerged in the case. Authorities learned that Megan Short alleged abuse and posted on Facebook that she needed help moving out of the family's home.

Further investigation revealed that the youngest child, Willow, had undergone a heart transplant as a baby.

Neighbors who spoke with reporters from the Reading Eagle expressed shock over the incident saying they never suspected there were any issues with the family.

The district attorney's office is leading an investigation into the deaths with assistance from police from Sinking Spring and Spring Township.

A motive for the crime has not been determined.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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