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Maryland

Deaths of five family members in a Cecil County home ruled a murder-suicide, authorities said

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ELK MILLS — The fatal shooting of a Maryland couple and their three children at their home last week is considered a murder-suicide, officials announced Monday.

The investigation is continuing into the deaths of Marcus and Tara Milligan, 39 and 37 respectively; and their children, Teresa, 14; Nora, 11; and Finn, 8, the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

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The shooting happened at their Elk Mills home on Hebron Court, a cul-de-sac in an area of residential streets interspersed with wooded areas just north of Elkton and a few miles west of the Delaware state line.

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Deputies responded to the home shortly after 9:30 a.m. Friday morning after a man called 911 to report that three children and a woman had been fatally shot and said he planned to kill himself when the call ended, the sheriff’s office said. When deputies arrived, they found the five members of the family dead in various locations inside the home and in the detached garage. A semi-automatic handgun and cellphone were found near the man, officials said.

Marcus Milligan was the 911 caller and he killed the others, then himself, a sheriff’s office spokesman, Lt. Michael Holmes, said by telephone. Investigators are still looking into the circumstances surrounding the shootings and the motive, but some details may never be known, Holmes said.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore performed autopsies and confirmed that all five died as a result of gunshot wounds, officials said.

”It’s a horrific day, and I know everybody’s prayers are appreciated,” Sheriff Scott Adams said at a news conference on Friday. “My phone hasn’t stopped ringing from people concerned about this and upset about this.”

Adams said that his office has no records of deputies responding to calls at the house.

A critical incident stress management team was sent to the scene to speak with deputies, paramedics and others involved in this investigation, the sheriff’s office said. Cecil County Animal Services also was contacted because pets were found inside the home.


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