Arkansas family found dead on Christmas Day killed in murder-suicide

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The five family members whose bodies were found at their Arkansas home on Christmas Day were killed in a murder-suicide, authorities said Tuesday.

Patricia Patrick, 61, and Jaquita Chase, 31, were discovered dead along with three kids just after 5 p.m. at the home in Atkins, which is 50 miles north of Little Rock, the Pope County Sheriff’s Office said.

The children were identified as Danielle Collins, 7, Levenah Countryman, 10, and Abigail Heflin, 12.

The exact nature of their relationships was unclear, but authorities have said they were all relatives.

Officials also didn’t reveal who committed the murders or provide details about the manner of their deaths, though they previously said some of them had suffered gunshot wounds.

Sheriff Shane Jones offered his condolences in a statement to their family and friends who are “hurting, dismayed and in shock over the events of this past Christmas Day.”

“While all loss of life is heartbreaking, this situation has been particularly tragic,” Jones said.

“Anytime children are senselessly taken from those who love them, the pain is beyond compare. When you add to that the loss of the adults involved, the pain is unfathomable.”

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