Louisiana Family of 4, Including Teen, Found Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide: Sheriff

The victims included a teenage male, according to authorities

Family of 4 killed in apparent murder-suicide on West Bank of New Orleans
Photo: facebook

A family of four was found dead inside of a home in what officials are surmising is a murder-suicide in Harvey, Louisiana.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto said in a press conference that deputies were dispatched to the neighborhood's 1100 block of Curtis Street around 7:50 a.m. Thursday after receiving a 911 call.

The call was made by a man who warned that police would find four bodies at the home, and he alluded to the sentiment: "We can't live like this anymore."

"That's what we found, unfortunately," Lopinto reported.

The Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office identified the victims to Louisiana new station WVUE as Joanna Ragas, 45, Timothy Earl Ragas, 43, Eric Thornblom, 20, and Timothy Bruce Ragas, 13. (In the press conference, Lopinto said the youngest victim was 14.)

Lopinto said that the 20-year-old was a stepson, and authorities had already contacted his next of kin.

Regarding the motive behind the act, the sheriff related a theory that money issues may have played a part, noting that the house was in "deplorable" condition inside.

"It looked like financial problems and stuff have led to a destitute situation, and they took it into their own hands, unfortunately," Lopinto said. "I don't know if there was power in that house right now."

The sheriff added that it's unclear if one or two shooters were involved in the apparent murder-suicide, and that it's possible that the mother and father worked in tandem.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

"Some of the information could make me believe that maybe they decided to do this together," Lopinto said. "But I'm going to let the coroner's office make that determination."

Lopinto also revealed that the father in the family was formerly employed as a law enforcement officer, but "from years ago," and not in Jefferson Parish.

Related Articles