3 family members found dead in Herndon; police investigating connection to suicide in Reston

The bodies of one adult and two children from the same family were found inside a home in Fairfax County, Virginia, on Saturday morning in what police said is an apparent homicide.

Herndon Police told WTOP that the deaths are linked to a suicide that took place elsewhere in Fairfax County.

Just before 6 a.m., Fairfax County Police said they were called to the 11900 block of Democracy Drive in Reston for a man “experiencing a mental health crisis on top of a parking garage.”

They said the man fell to his death about an hour later.

Because of statements that he made before his death, Fairfax Police asked Herndon Police to perform a welfare check on a home in the 500 block of Florida Avenue.

That’s where officers “discovered a very horrific scene,” said Herndon Police Chief Maggie DeBoard during a press conference Saturday afternoon.

She said an investigation determined that the man who committed suicide had “a personal relationship” with the three victims.

WTOP News partner NBC4 reported that, prior to the man committing suicide, he told officers trying to help him that he had just killed his girlfriend and her two children.

Neighbors at the apartment complex told NBC4 that the said the youngest was about 6 years old and the oldest was a girl turning 10 years old on Saturday. A party was planned for the older daughter, per NBC4.

“Why the girls, the girls had nothing to do with it. They just woke up probably, maybe the girl woke up happy about her 10th birthday,” the neighbor said.

A couple said they knew the victims and struggled with how to tell their children.

“How can you explain to the little one what happened and you know for a family I don’t know who it probably was but it’s really bad,” the neighbor said.

DeBoard did not reveal the identities of the victims, saying that police are still working to notify all of the next of kin of the adult and two children. She did not say how the victims died.

DeBoard said the county is offering support to the family members involved — and to the officers who found the scene.

“They are getting the assistance they need to cope with … the exposure to trauma that they too have experienced,” she said, noting that while officers are usually exposed to crime scenes, “this was a bad scene.”

“I think we will close this fairly quickly,” she said of the case. “I can tell you for sure that there are no public safety concerns… . We are not looking for any suspects at this point.”

A map of the area is below.

Dick Uliano contributed to this report.

Anna Gawel

Anna Gawel joined WTOP in 2020 and works in both the radio and digital departments. Anna Gawel has spent much of her career as the managing editor of The Washington Diplomat, which has been the flagship publication of D.C.’s diplomatic community for over 25 years.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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