The family made headlines for their youngest child's miracle heart transplant two years ago

By Stephanie Petit
Updated August 07, 2016 03:10 PM
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Five family members, including a 2-year-old girl, were found dead in their home in Pennsylvania in what authorities are describing as an apparent murder-suicide.

According to a news release posted on the Berks County District Attorney Facebook page, officers were sent to the Sinking Spring Borough home of the Short family after a family member reported that Megan Short failed to appear for a scheduled lunch date on Saturday afternoon.

Upon entering the home, officers discovered the bodies of Megan, her husband Mark, their three children and the family’s dog, all of whom died from gunshot wounds, according to police.

Police believe the “tragic domestic incident” to be a murder-suicide after discovering a handwritten note at the scene.

According to WFMZ, Berks County District Attorney John Adams identified the victims as Mark Short, 40, his wife, Megan, 33, and their children: 8-year-old Liana, 5-year-old Mark and 2-year-old Willow.

It is unclear who fired the fatal shots and what prompted the killings, but a handgun was discovered near one of the deceased adults, according to the news release.

The Berks County District Attorney had no additional comment as the homicide investigation is ongoing.

Neighbors who gathered around the crime scene were shocked by the tragic news.

One man who chose to remain anonymous told the Reading Eagle that although he didn’t know the Short family well, there were no signs of trouble.

“I never would’ve suspected there were any issues,” he said.

The family made headlines when their youngest child, Willow, survived a risky heart transplant when she was just one-week old.

Although the baby was expected to be stillborn, Willow was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and underwent an organ transplant less than a week later.

“Someone else’s child died so that my child could live,” Megan told the Reading Eagle in a November 2014 profile.

In a July 2015 story in the New York Times, Megan spoke about the complicated and costly drug regimen necessary to prevent Willow’s body from rejecting her new heart.

“You just feel like every month, you’re hoping that they don’t mess it up,” she told the newspaper.