WEST BROOKFIELD, Mass. - Police continue to investigate the deaths of a woman and three children after their deceased bodies were found inside a West Brookfield home.
The bodies of an adult female, a 7-year-old girl, a 5-year-old boy and a 2-year-old boy were discovered on Thursday afternoon.
Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early said Thursday night that police were called to the home for a well-being check around 3:30 p.m., and the responding officer discovered the bodies in an upstairs room.
Early said officers got a search warrant for the home around 9 p.m. before beginning their investigation.
Police said the deaths are being treated as suspicious, although the West Brookfield Police Chief said there is no reason to believe the public is in danger.
DA Early says autopsies underway now on mother and 3 kids found dead in W Brookfield. Police asking people to “take steps they need to feel safe” #boston25— Ted Daniel (@tvnewzted) March 2, 2018
The autopsies were being performed on Friday afternoon, and authorities have not yet confirmed if a crime was committed in the home.
Investigators haven't disclosed much information regarding what happened, but, the initial police radio call seemed to indicate fire damage occurred in the home.
On Friday afternoon, an unidentified man attempted to run past the police yellow tape and into the home's garage where crime scene investigators were working.
The man was apprehended by several officers and taken out in handcuffs. Early says he has since been released from custody, and has only been identified as a family member.
"We did have a distraught family member who was placed in protective custody and has since been released but there have been no arrests in this case," said Early.
A New Hampshire woman who identified herself as the aunt of the deceased children told Boston 25 News she believes the father was in California on business when the bodies were discovered.
She also says the bodies were discovered by a grandfather who was called by the father to check in on the family when he couldn't reach them by phone.
"I have known this family for as long as they have been around Massachusetts," said the children's aunt. "They are the most lovely, kind family, they are very family-oriented. They go to church and the children are so wonderful and well-mannered."
Aunt of 3 children found dead in West Brookfield home speaking about family, “They go to church and the children are so wonderful and well mannered” #Boston25— Ted Daniel (@tvnewzted) March 2, 2018
There was heavy police presence at the West Brookfield Elementary School, where the two older children found dead, were students.
"I just spoke with some of the parents at the school," said West Brookfield Police Chief Thomas O'Donnell. "We understand the level of anxiety something like this causes in the community."
Police officers were at the school providing extra security as well as counsel to students and faculty.
The four deaths have not yet been ruled homicides, but DA Early said that is part of the investigation.
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