MINNEAPOLIS — Police pushed ahead today with their investigation into an apparent murder-suicide in an affluent Minneapolis suburb that left a family of five dead, while a high school offered counselling to classmates of the three children.
Authorities were sent to the lakeside home of Brian and Karen Short in Greenwood yesterday after the family hadn’t been seen in days and a co-worker of the father asked police to check on them. Officers found five bodies inside — the couple and their three teenage children.
Neither the South Lake Minnetonka Police Department nor the Hennepin County sheriff’s office had released much fresh information by this afternoon, so it remained unclear how or when the family members died, who killed them, or why. Interim Police Chief Mike Siitari planned to release a statement later, the department said.
The children had not been in school since classes resumed Tuesday, Siitari said yesterday. Calling the deaths “an unspeakable tragedy”, he said it probably would take investigators several days to finish processing “a complex
Cole Short, 17, Madison Short, 15, and Brooklyn Short, 14, had attended Minnetonka High School, where counselling was available Friday for students struggling with the deaths.
“This is an incredibly difficult time for our school community,” principal Jeffrey Erickson said in a letter to parents.
The killings happened in Greenwood, a village of about 700 people on the south side of Lake Minnetonka. The Shorts bought the home on St Alban’s Bay in 2011 for $2 million, Hennepin County property tax records show.
Brian Short was the founder of AllNurses.com, a social networking site for nurses. A biography posted there described him as an entrepreneur who built and launched the website in the late 1990s when he was a nursing student and couldn’t find nursing-related information online.
An administrator of AllNurses.com posted a notice last night saying the family had been killed and calling it “a very tragic loss for the extended families, friends, co-workers, and this nursing community”. Another statement promised: “Please be assured that we will continue to serve our devoted network of nursing professionals during this difficult time.”
A man who answered the phone at AllNurses.com today declined to comment.