The Pope County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that five members of the same family—five women and girls—were found dead. The ages ranged from 8 years old to 50 years old, officials said.
When deputies arrived after 5 p.m. on Christmas, they found five “individuals, deceased in the home,” said Pope County Sheriff Shane Jones in a streamed news conference.
Officials have not determined the identity of the suspect, but Jones said they don’t believe there is any lingering danger to the general public. The suspect is believed to have been among the dead, the sheriff said.
Jones said the individuals were shot. They haven’t yet been identified.
Jones told KARK that the names of the victims haven’t been released pending notification of relatives.
“At this time, we believe this to be an isolated incident, and do not feel that there is any continued danger to the local public,” the Pope County Sheriff’s Office said in a separate statement, according to ABC News.
Jones noted that the deaths appeared to have been the result of a domestic incident, KARK reported.
“It’s rare anywhere,” Jones said of the case, reported ABC News. “We just need to pray for a family that’s just been devastated.”
A motive for the murders hasn’t yet been determined.
The bodies will be sent to the Arkansas state crime lab. An investigation into the alleged murder-suicide is ongoing, Jones added.
Other details about the case have not been released.
Atkins, which has about 3,000 people, is located more than 60 miles northwest of Little Rock.