Authorities believe a 51-year-old man fatally shot his wife and two children last week before turning the gun on himself in Saugus, California
Authorities believe a 51-year-old man fatally shot his wife and two children last week before turning the gun on himself, leaving investigators to discover their bodies on Friday in a residence outside Los Angeles, PEOPLE confirms.
The L.A. County Coroner’s Office has identified the triple-homicide victims as 47-year-old Amy Birnkrant and her two children: daughter Drew, who was 20, and 11-year-old son Sean.
Deputies with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched to the Birnkrant home, in Saugus, California, on Friday morning after a family friend called 911, expressing their concerns for Amy’s well-being.
The friend had not heard from her in some time, according to detectives.
Neither medical examiners nor investigators have released the husband’s name, but L.A. Sheriff’s Department Lt. Rodney Moore confirmed during a news conference this weekend that it appears Amy’s spouse carried out the slayings.
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Moore told reporters a handgun was recovered from the scene, and that the bodies were found in separate rooms around the house.
The three victims had all been shot in the chest, according to local TV station KTLA.
“We do believe it was a murder-suicide based on the physical evidence at the scene,” Moore said.
Amy was an avid runner, completing a number of marathons. The former teacher also operated a child-care business from her garage.
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Drew was in college, following her graduation from local Valencia High School. She participated in track and field competitions in both high school and college.
Her brother, Sean, was in elementary school.
A motive for the violence remains unclear and PEOPLE was unable to reach Birnkrant relatives on Monday.