KANSAS CITY (AP) - A couple and a 14-year-old relative who lived with them were found dead Monday in a rural northwest Missouri home in an apparent double murder and suicide, authorities said.
Clay County Sheriff Bob Boydston said authorities began investigating after a family friend went to the home, east of Smithville Lake and about 25 miles north of Kansas City, to check on the residents and saw what appeared to be a body and blood through a window.
Deputies found the teenager and a female cousin who was in her late 60s lying in their beds with gunshot wounds to their heads, Boydston said. The woman's husband, who was about 70, was found in another part of the house with a handgun close to him, Boydston said.
"There are Christmas presents in the house and three dead bodies," Boydston said. "Sometimes it's hard to get your brain around it."
Boydston didn't immediately release the names of the dead because their relatives still were being notified.
The sheriff said the couple had become the teen's legal guardian within the past year. He had no details about why the boy was living with the couple and noted that his office was still seeking to obtain court records.
The family was well-known for their Christmas lights, but neighbors noticed they hadn't put them up this year. Boydston said family and friends reported that the older man, who was retired from American Airlines, had been suffering from depression. Authorities found multiple prescription drugs used to treat depression and sleeping disorders.
A suicide note wasn't immediately found, Boydston said. But he said authorities discovered thousands of expended rounds of ammunition in the basement from multiple weapons.
He said the boy attended Plattsburg Junior High, and the school had been notified so they could take steps to reassure and help the teen's classmate. The boy didn't attend school Thursday or Friday, and authorities were looking into whether that was when the killings occurred.