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Three “severely decomposing bodies” were found inside a California home by police Wednesday morning after extended family members called for a welfare check.
The Irvine Police Department discovered the bodies after Canadian authorities contacted the department for the concerned family members, who hadn’t been in contact with the household — made up of a father, mother and adult son — for a year.
“Extended family members of the residents of the home reported to Canadian authorities they had been unable to reach the residents for over one year and were concerned,” police wrote in a report, according to the New York Post.
Police entered the home and found “three severely decomposed bodies inside that appeared to be adults,” according to NBC Los Angeles.
According to The Orange County Register, officials believe the three bodies had been there for 12-16 months.
Lieutenant Bill Bingham told ABC7 that identification is “proving difficult” due to how decomposed the bodies are.
On Wednesday, officials said it may have been a murder-suicide and that there were “some indications this was a domestic-related incident.”
Police report that the father was in his 60s. The mother was in her 50s and the son was in his 30s.
Officers located a handgun inside the home, NBC Los Angeles reported.
Authorities are trying to determine how their deaths went unnoticed for so long. The victim’s home is located inside a gated community in Orchard Hills, according to the Register.
Bingham said to NBC Los Angeles, “my understanding is that the Homeowners’ Association maintains the front yard, at least at this home where these individuals lived.”
“So at first glance, from outside, it’s not immediately apparent that nobody’s been caring for the place for up to a year.”