Family of 5 dead after apparent murder-suicide in Berks County

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SINKING SPRING, Berks County, Pa.-- Officials say a family of five has died in an apparent murder-suicide at a home near Reading.

According to the Berks County District Attorney's office, the bodies were discovered around 2:00 p.m. Saturday at 51 Winding Brook Drive in Sinking Spring, Berks County.

The Sinking Spring Police Department was called by a family member, after Megan Short, 33, failed to show up for a pre-arranged lunch date.  That person could not get in contact with Megan via her cell phone or house phone; they grew concerned and called police.

Megan Short lived at the home along Winding Brook Drive with her husband, Mark and three children. Police say there seemed to be "domestic issues" between the couple.

Officers from Sinking Spring Borough and Spring Township Police Departments attempted to make contact with the family. When there was no answer at the front door, officers made entry into the home.

Once inside, officers found the bodies of all five family members, and a dog in the living room area. Each had suffered a gunshot wound and a handgun was discovered near one of the deceased adults.

A handwritten note was also found,  which police say appeared to be a “murder/suicide” note.

At approximately 6:07 p.m., the Berks County Coroner pronounced each member of the family dead. They are identified as Mark Jason Short Sr., 40, Megan L. Short, 33, Lianna G. Short, 8, Mark J. Short, 5, Willow R. Short, 2.

Detectives held the crime scene for over eight hours to investigate and process the scene. The scene was eventually released at approximately 12:45 a.m Sunday.

The Berks County District Attorney's office is leading an investigation with assistance from the Sinking Spring and Spring Township Police Departments.

The Berks County District Attorney John Adams released the following statement on Sunday morning:

“This is an apparent tragic domestic incident.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families at this difficult time.  This investigation is ongoing.”