4 dead in apparent murder-suicide at unincorporated DuPage County home near Downers Grove

June 12, 2013 (DOWNERS GROVE, Ill.)

DuPage County investigators did not say Wednesday exactly what happened inside the home in the 500-block of Oldfield, and they did not released the names of any of the victims in what seemed to be a murder-suicide.

They did, however, confirm that four family members were shot to death. Police responded Tuesday to a disturbance at a home and found four people dead inside.

Family spokesperson Racheal Steinhaus, who lives near the home, said a father shot and killed his wife and their two daughters. One daughter, she says, was 21 years old, and the other was age 16.

Steinhaus also says two young boys, cousins, were also staying at the house and that one of them there at the time, but he got out safely. Currently, those boys and their father are staying with Steinhaus, she says, as they await details from investigators.

For several hours Tuesday, dozens of heavily armed police officers, many in full SWAT gear, took over the block.

"It is scary. There were helicopters hovering around, and you don't expect anything to happen in this neighborhood. It is quiet and peaceful," said neighbor Sandy Youngren.

"One of the officers came and had a rifle in his hand and rang my bell and said get everybody in the basement and lock the doors, and he left," neighbor Jennifer Mazzei said. "We all got in the basement, and it was a little scary." " This appears to be an isolated incident. There is no danger to anyone in the neighborhood," said Dawn Domrose of the DuPage Co. Sheriff's Office.

Steinhaus says she was friends with the girls who died.

"One of them was quiet, like, if you said, 'Hi,' she would say, 'Hi,' and if you wanted to keep the conversation going, but she didn't want to, she would just walk away. The other one was out there, she wanted to be liked, she wanted to be noticed. She wanted somebody to pay attention to her, talk to her," Steinhaus said.

Steinhaus said she thought investigators were witholding the names of the victims Wednesday because they were still notifying family members.

Meanwhile, another neighbor who was close with the family left a rose outside the home Wednesday morning and said a prayer.

"The daughters, as I understand, were wonderful people, and clearly, they deserved a better fate than they got. I think, in time, the whole community will be seeking answers," said Kelley Glisan.

This is not the first time violence has touched the neighborhood. One block away, Jeffrey and Lori Kramer and their adult son, Michael, were killed in their home in 2010.

"You can't help but feel horrible sadness for that family right now. Obviously, very a reminiscent sadness for the Kramer family," said neighbor Janet Viane.

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