The police in the city of West Des Moines in Central Iowa in the United States on Monday said four members of an Indian-American family found dead in their home on Saturday were victims of a homicide-suicide.
The police said forensic autopsies conducted on June 16 found that 44-year-old Chandrasekhar Sunkara committed suicide while 41-year-old Lavanya Sunkara and their two sons aged 15 years and 10 years were murdered. The police did not identify the killer.
“The state Medical Examiner’s Office has determined the causes of death for all four family members to be gunshot wounds,” said the West Des Moines Police department. “Officials are working with surviving family members to provide support. Investigators are continuing to review evidence and conduct interviews.”
Sunkara was issued a permit to carry weapons in April after passing a state background check, The Des Moines Register quoted Dallas County Sheriff Chad Leonard as saying. Leonard added that the West Des Moines police had told him that Sunkara had purchased at least one weapon after the permit was issued. Investigators are working to determine what was purchased and from where.
The Telugu community in the United States has contacted the Indian embassy and are making arrangements to help the bereaved family back in India, The News Minute reported.
Sunkara hailed from Tsunduru village of Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district. He went to the United States to pursue higher education and settled there with his family. His parents reportedly live in Hyderabad.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety had said on Sunday that Sunkara had been working for its information technology unit for the past 11 years. He was not a sworn officer.
The department had said the family had guests – two adults and two children – staying with them at the time of the incident. One of them ran outside to look for help when they discovered the bodies, and called the 911 emergency services with the help of a passerby.