An entire blended family in Wisconsin is dead in what police believe may have been a horrific murder-suicide.
Just after 5 a.m. Friday morning, dispatchers received a call about a four-unit apartment building in Hartford, Wisconsin, that was on fire. When police and several fire department crews arrived, they managed to guide the people in three of the apartments to safety. However, they made a gruesome discovery in the fourth apartment, where the fire began: six dead bodies, four of them children.
The six deceased persons have been identified as Connor McKisick, 34; his wife Jessica McKisick; his stepdaughters, 14-year-old Natalie Kleemeier and 12-year-old Sofina Kleemeier; and his twin 3-year-old sons, whose names were not given. All six died of a single gunshot wound. Connor's wound is believed to have been self-inflicted. The other deaths are still under investigation, though the New York Post reported that there are no other persons of interest associated with this case. All six lived in the apartment together.
Hartland police chief Torin J. Misko told reporters that police also believe that the apartment fire had been started intentionally. Investigators discovered "evidence of an ignitable liquid" in an area of the apartment "where it normally would not be located," Misko said.
Multiple firearms were also recovered from the apartment.
"This is a tragic incident for the family of the deceased, for our first responders and for the Hartland community," Misko wrote in a statement. "The family has asked for privacy while they mourn the loss of their loved ones."
According to one report, Jessica had previously posted on Facebook that she and Connor were married last Christmas. She has no known criminal history, though Connor was convicted of battery and disorderly conduct in 2007.
The fire displaced the other three families who had been living in the same apartment building, and authorities have begun collecting gift cards and other donations to help them meet basic needs.
Hartland is located about 25 miles west of Milwaukee.