The discovery of four bodies inside a home in what sheriff's deputies suspect was a murder-suicide jolted a quiet, palm-lined neighborhood in Mission Viejo on Tuesday morning.
Deputies found the bodies of two males and two females after they were called by a relative to the taupe-colored, two-story home on the 25600 block of Pacific Hills Drive shortly after 9 a.m.
Homicide investigators spent several hours inside, combing the home for clues about what might have happened but offered little information throughout the day except to say that there were no suspects and the violence was isolated.
Orange County sheriff's spokesman Lt. Jeff Hallock said deputies were waiting on fingerprint identification and family notification before releasing the names of the dead. According to public records and neighbors, the hillside home is owned by Mark and Lydia Sheer, who have lived there for several years with their college-age son and teenage daughter.
Mark Sheer, according to his company website, is a business consultant and "tactical coach." Lydia Sheer is a homemaker who is "always making cookies," according to a family friend at the scene who identified herself only by her initials, L.J.
Hallock said he was unaware of any previous calls to 911 from the home.
Neighbors described the Sheers as an easygoing and friendly family that enjoyed elaborately decorating their home for Christmas and Halloween.
"This is like a shocker," said resident Anthony Zinser.
L.J. called the Sheers "the perfect Christian family." They regularly attend Mount of Olives Lutheran Church in Mission Viejo.
L.J. said her daughter is best friends with the Sheers' daughter, whom she described as a 15-year-old "bundle of joy" who was home-schooled until fall before enrolling in a private high school.
During a visit to the home on Valentine's Day, she noticed a Christmas tree among the holiday-themed balloons and decorations.
"It's Christmas all year round. We love to celebrate,'" she recalled the mother saying.