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Couple and their 3 children found dead in Maryland home

A father killed his wife and their three young children before fatally shooting himself in a northwest Maryland home, authorities said Saturday.

Christopher Alan Wood, 34, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Frederick County sheriff's office spokeswoman Jennifer Bailey said. His wife Francis Billotti Wood, 33, and their three children suffered "traumatic cuts," but the causes of their deaths weren't immediately confirmed.

Two boys ages 5 and 4 were found in their beds, and a 2-year-old girl was found with the mother in the master bedroom. The father's body lay on the floor at the foot of the bed in the master bedroom.

A relative alerted authorities after discovering the bloody scene around 9 a.m. Saturday.

Investigators also found a shotgun and other items they believed were used to cut the victims. Several notes were found, but authorities didn't disclose what the notes said.

Peggy Lawrence, a neighbor, said the family had moved into the neighborhood several months ago and Francis Wood had grown up in the area. Lawrence described Francis Wood as a good homemaker.

"It wouldn't lead you to believe anything was wrong," Lawrence said. "I'm still sick to my stomach. Just to see it end so quickly is so devastating and makes you realize you never know what's going on in people's lives."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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