SINKING SPRING, Pa. — A Pennsylvania woman found dead alongside her husband and three children in an apparent murder-suicide had told friends on social media that she planned to leave him.
Megan Short alleged abuse and posted on Facebook that she needed help moving out of the family's Sinking Spring home Saturday, the day authorities discovered the family shot dead, The Reading Eagle reported. A neighbour, Angie Burke, told the newspaper she saw the post about a week ago.
Short and her husband, Mark Short Sr., had been featured in news stories about their difficulties getting medication for a daughter who had a heart transplant. The girl, two-year-old Willow, and her siblings, eight-year-old Lianna and five-year-old Mark Jr., were found shot to death near their parents.
Police found the five bodies in the living room while conducting a welfare check at the home. A dog also was found dead.
Police also found a handwritten letter that "appeared to be a 'murder-suicide' note'' and a handgun near one of the adults, the district attorney's office said. The couple had been having "domestic issues,'' District Attorney John Adams said.
Authorities have yet to identify the suspected shooter. Investigators scheduled a Monday afternoon autopsy for Mark Short and are conducting forensic analysis of evidence taken from the scene.
Willow Short, far right, had a heart transplant.
In an April 13 post on Philly at Heart, a website devoted to families dealing with congenital heart issues, Megan Short wrote that anxiety related to her daughter's condition had left her with post-traumatic stress disorder and "survivor's guilt'' when children with similar problems from other families died.
Burke told the newspaper that she and Megan Short stayed in contact through Facebook. She said Short commented on a link to an online article about abuse, then wrote that she planned to leave her marriage after 16 years.