Seven members of a family were found dead inside their house in Ranchi, the police said on Monday. The bodies have been sent for post-mortem and senior officers, along with a forensic team, are investigating the matter. “The exact cause of their death would be clear only after the autopsy,” said Ranchi Senior Superintendent of Police Anish Gupta.

The dead were identified as 65-year-old Shashi Kumar Jha who was a retired Railway employee, his wife Gayatri Devi, 60, and their sons Deepak Jha, 40, and Rupesh Jha, 39. Deepak’s wife Soni, 38, and their children – one-year-old son Jagu and six-year-old Drishti – were also among the deceased, reported the Hindustan Times.

Amol V Homkar, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Ranchi Range), said two suicide notes were recovered from the house. “Prima facie, investigations reveal that the brothers had hanged themselves after killing the other five family members,” he said. “Other angles are also being investigated.” The two brothers were found hanging while the other five bodies were found wrapped in a blanket. Two upturned wooden stools were also found in the rooms, said the police.

The door of the house was left unlocked. The bodies were discovered after a child of another tenant came in to call Drishti. A van had come around 8.45 am to take the child to school.

Neighbours and relatives said the family was struggling financially, said Gupta. Deepak worked as a marketing representative in a pharmaceutical company while Rupesh worked for online companies from home.

Earlier this month, six members of a family were found dead in what the police said appeared to be a suicide pact in Hazaribagh district. The dead included two children.