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Editor’s note: If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
A Minnesota family of five was found dead on Wednesday in a Duluth home, and the suspect wrote a Facebook post detailing how he decided to kill himself as well as several of his family members.
In a Facebook post, Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad, 29, detailed his struggles with mental health over many years, and said that he made the choice to take his own life in addition to several family members’ lives, according to Fox 21.
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The victims were identified by police as Riana Lou Barry, 44; Sean Christopher Barry, 47; Shiway Elizabeth Barry; 12, Sadie Lucille Barry, 9.
The Duluth Police Department received a call asking for a welfare check at a Hermantown home at 11:18 a.m. on Wednesday for a man going through what was believed to be a mental health crisis.
Police say that Cole-Skogstad sent a message to a family member, which was eventually posted to Facebook. That family member contacted police officers after receiving the message.
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Police Chief Mike Tusken said that when officers entered the home shortly after 3 p.m., five people and a family dog were found dead.
“Eventually, the Duluth Police Department was able to enter the home and locate five deceased people, and a deceased dog,” Tusken said.
He called the incident an “unimaginable tragedy.”
During a press conference on Thursday, Tusken said that Cole-Skogstad is believed to have killed himself and the family members, saying that this appears to be a murder suicide.
Tusken said that the victims were found dead in their beds, and said that he has never seen anything like this in his career.
“In my 30 years of policing, I have never seen anything like this. Sometimes people forget that the officers and investigators responding to the scene have families too. This is devastating for them to respond to, to see, and to process afterwards. I cannot thank the members of our team enough for their service, and for their care for this community,” Tusken said.
In a tweet, Duluth Mayor Emily Larson said that the community is in “pain and shock,” and thanked first responders.
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“Things happened today that can’t be undone. Tonight we are a community in pain and shock, sharing a sorrow for the loss of our people,” Larson said.
Police say that the investigation is ongoing.