The death of five members of a Massachusetts family appears to be a case of murder-suicide.
Authorities believe Luke Karpinski, 41, killed his wife, Justine Wilbur, 41, and their three children, 7-year-old twins Alex and Zoe and 3-year-old Malek in their Sheffield home before setting it on fire and killing himself. The bodies of two dogs were also found in the house.
Police and firefighters responded to calls about a fire at the house just after 8 a.m. on Wednesday. The bodies were discovered after extinguishing the fire, which had engulfed the house.
Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington said she could not yet reveal how the family died, but Boston CBS affiliate WBZ reported that Wilbur was stabbed to death.
“At this time, the evidence indicates that Luke Karpinski was the assailant,” Harrington said on Thursday.
She said Wilbur’s body was found alone downstairs and the other four bodies were found upstairs.
Wilbur was a patent attorney at Hoffman Warnick law firm in Albany, whose work spanned topics ranging from cancer treatment to nanotechnology. The firm posted a tribute to her on Thursday.
“Justine was smart, knowledgeable, dedicated and hardworking. She was a devoted mother to her wonderful children, and a true friend to everyone in our firm,” Hoffman Warnick’s statement said. “We are each devastated by loss and extraordinary sadness, but are comforted and grateful for having shared Justine’s infectious spirit and energy.”
Harrington said her office and Massachusetts police continue to investigate the horrific incident.