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November 23, 2007
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Md. police say 5 dead in domestic murder-suicide

The Associated Press

LAYTONSVILLE, Md. —  Five people were found dead in a park in an apparent murder-suicide, police said.

"It looks like it is a domestic-related homicide-suicide," Montgomery County Police spokeswoman Porsha Jones said.

Montgomery County Police and Maryland-National Capital Park Police were called to Unity Neighborhood Park near Laytonsville around 9:20 p.m. Thursday, Montgomery County police said. Four of the victims, a woman and three children, were found together at the entrance of the park.

Police would not disclose the ages of the children, two boys and a girl, but said they were not toddlers. A news conference was scheduled Friday afternoon to discuss the case.

Officers searching the area found the body of man who had died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

The bodies were being taken to the State Medical Examiner's office for autopsies.

Authorities blocked off roads in the tiny community of Unity, about 25 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. The 1.5-acre park is in a sparsely populated area.

Residents gathered Friday at the Sunshine Store, a general store about a quarter mile down the road from the park, and talked about the tragedy.

"It's really shocking," said store cashier Christine Flaim, 24, who heard the sirens and helicopter from her home nearby. "Everyone is concerned and worried."

There have been several domestic-related killings involving children in Maryland this year.

In April, a Montgomery County father hanged his two young children before committing suicide.

In March, the remains of four young children were found in their family home in neighboring Frederick. Their father's body was found hanging from a bannister, and their mother remains missing.

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