A family of four -- a mother, father and their two young daughters -- were found dead in Virginia Nov. 17 in a suspected murder-suicide.
The bodies of Amy and Lance Buckley as well as those of their daughters, Claire, 5, and Abigail, 18 months, were found at their home in Stafford, Virginia, on the morning of Nov. 17, the Daily Mail reports.
Stafford County Sheriff's Office is treating the case as a domestic murder-suicide, police affirmed, adding that the deaths have been communicated to the couple's immediate next of kin.
Lance's parents were too upset to speak to the media on the evening of Nov. 17. The deceased family had been living with them at their rural home.
Amy gave birth to the couple's second child, Abigail, in April of last year, about a week and a half before Lance disappeared on his way to Howard University where he was attending PhD classes in microbiology.
His graduation was to have taken place a few days later but he ended up not receiving his degree, Fredericksburg reports. He was finally found three days after his disappearance at the Brunswick Family Campground near Harper's Ferry, West Virginia.
At a news conference last year, his wife publicly asked for help in finding him, stating it was "totally out of character" for him to simply disappear and not let his family know his whereabouts.
Neighbor Bonnie Thomen commented on the incident: "We’ve had some tragedies, some people who have died, but nothing violent like this."
"Everybody’s just really shocked that something like this could happen," Thomen said. "Very sad for the family."
As of Nov. 17, police have not released information about how the family died.
"The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation into the deaths of four individuals in the Windsor Forest Subdivision in the northwestern portion of the county," the sheriff's office said in a statement.
"The preliminary investigation has determined the incident was a domestic related murder-suicide.
"The ages of the deceased are a 35-year-old male, a 30-year-old-female, a five-year-old female and an 18-month-old-female," the statement further reads.