Hyderabad: Police confirmed that the death of four members of a Telugu family in Iowa, US, was the result of a homicide- cum-suicide. The bodies of Chandrasekhar Sunkara, who hails from Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, his wife and their two children were found with gunshot wounds. Their bodies were cremated on Tuesday in Iowa.
“Deceased Chandr-asekhar Sunkara, 44, committed suicide while his wife, Lavanya Sunkara, 41, and sons, aged 15 and 10, were shot and killed,” West Des Moines police said. The two children were not named.
During investigation, police found multiple gunshots on the bodies of the victims. Other members of the family, with the help of West Des Moines police, held a visitation for Lavanya and the two sons between 7 am and 9 am local time on Tuesday before the cremation.
The body of Chandrasekhar was cremated without visitation.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the Sunkaras,” the department of public safety said.
A close family friend of the family told Deccan Chronicle, “We are told that Chandrasekhar (Chandu) had purchased the gun 10-15 days ago when he apparently planned the homicide. Being a US citizen he is allowed to purchase a weapon. Police is investigating the place of purchase.”
He said that the house where the incident occurred and which the family had purchased in March, has been seized by police.
The in-laws who used to stay there have been moved into a friend’s house.
The in-laws cited depression as the cause for the shooting.
According to the family, Chandrasekhar had been depressed due to the ill-health of his elder son.
“Chandu could have consulted a psychiatrist in case of acute depression; the family should have intervened in case if they knew about his psychological condition,” the friend said.