According to police reports, 53-year-old Michael Stasko of New Jersey shot and killed his wife and 8-year-old daughter before killing himself in an apparent murder suicide.

The incident took place sometime earlier, but the bodies of all three victims, 53-year-old Michael Stasko, his 49-year-old wife Melissa, and 8-year-old daughter Mellie, were found at 7 p.m. on Christmas in a luxury apartment building in Edgewater, New Jersey.

Details of the incident were given by Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli in a press conference.

The town’s police was contacted by Melissa’s brother in Missouri after the three did not arrive in Lees Summit, Missouri. They were supposed to meet for the holidays and were also not answering their cell phones.

According to the authorities, the mother and daughter were both found in their pajamas with gunshot wounds in the back of their heads, whereas Michael had been shot from under his chin.

A .45-caliber handgun with hollow-point bullets was also found in the apartment.

An investigation is on-going to determine the time of the shootings and the motive behind them.

According to Molnelli, the killings may have occurred as early as Tuesday, which was Mellie’s 8th birthday.

Right now, it is not known if the motive was financial or familial, as nobody really knows what was going through Mr. Stasko’s mind for him to do this.

The family’s apartment was on the 17th floor of the building. The entire floor was canvassed but authorities were not able to find anyone who might have heard the gunshots.

Their apartment was decorated for the holidays, including a Christmas tree with presents underneath, said Molinelli.

“You see some cards and holiday cards,” he said. “It would appear from the 8-year-old’s standpoint she very much loved her father.”

Molinelli stated in the press conference that the case is “troubling.”

“I’m doing this 14 years and whenever you see an 8-year-old lying in a bed and she’s dead, we try to find answers right away and we will try to find answers on this one,” Molinelli said.

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