A podiatrist, his three daughters and a painter were found dead in a Montgomery County house last night, most apparently bound and stabbed in separate rooms of the home in a wealthy Washington suburb, police said.
This morning, investigators were questioning the painter's helper, but would not say whether he is a suspect in the killings.
As police descended on the two-story white and gray Tudor home in the 11000 block of Twining Lane, shocked neighbors emerged from their homes and said their community of half-million-dollar homes is forever changed.
"Everybody is absolutely shocked," said Gary Hortnick, 40, who lives two doors from the slain family. "This is a neighborhood that is very close. It is a sick thing that an individual could do this. I don't think anybody will ever be the same in this neighborhood."
Police identified the dead as Dr. David Marc Goff, 46, who had offices in Silver Spring and Bethesda; Andrea Robyn Goff, 22; Sheri Helene Goff, 19; and Alyse Renee Goff, 14. The painter was identified as Mark Richard Aldridge, 30, of Wheaton.
Dr. Goff's mother and 17-year-old son were vacationing in Ocean City and returned to the house last night after hearing of the slayings from relatives.
"Look at this house," said Iris Durke, another neighbor. "It's a storybook house. It's all just a waiting game -- wait until it happens to you . . . It happened to us, in our own neighborhood. I guess I just can't comprehend it. It's like something you would see someplace else."
Ann Evans, a spokeswoman for the Montgomery County Police Department, said emergency dispatchers received their first 911 call yesterday at 8:35 p.m. She said the caller either hung up or got disconnected.
Two officers went to the house, checked the outside and rang the doorbell. Ms. Evans said no one answered. She said a neighbor told the officers the family was on vacation.
About 11 p.m., Ms. Evans said, the painter's assistant called 911, said that there had been a murder and that they should come. Officers showed up to the house, heard a dog barking and were met by the assistant.
He was handcuffed and taken to police headquarters, where he was being questioned this morning. The Reuters News Service reported that his clothes were covered in blood.
Inside, police said, they found the five victims in different rooms -- the three daughters were found on the upper level and the two men were on the lower level. Four had been bound, gagged and stabbed, according to a police source and several broadcast reports.
Ms. Evans said there was no sign of a forced entry. She said investigators were trying to determine if there is any connection between yesterday's stabbings and a December 1990 robbery at the house.
Police said a man broke into the house and stole several valuable jewels while the doctor's wife was home.
Several neighbors interviewed said they returned home about 7 p.m. and saw a white Ford painter's pickup truck parked in Dr. Goff's driveway. They said he had been repainting and renovating his house for the past two or three weeks.
Police said Dr. Goff hired the painter to paint the outside of this house -- which has a basketball hoop on the front driveway and is surrounded by dogwood trees -- and is worth $720,000.
Andrea Goff had just graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, and was planning to attend law school at George Washington University in the Fall.
"She made me laugh and even when we had our fights, we were always there for each other," said Kyra Craft, 19, who said she was Andrea Goff's best friend. "She did everything and anything that someone would ask her too."
Sheri Goff, 19, was a student at the University of Maryland College Park. The youngest sister, 14-year-old Alyse Goff, was a sophomore at Churchill High School and was active in cross-country running.
This morning, six classmates and fellow members of her cheerleading squad gathered at the slaying scene, many dressed in nightgowns and wrapped in blankets.
One neighbor who lives across the street and would not give his name, described the family as "nice people. They wouldn't hurt a fly, ever. They would have opened their house to anybody and to think somebody would have come in and done this to them is unbelievable."