Marcus Edward Milligan shoots wife, Tara Ricker Milligan dead along with couple’s 3 children dead then self at their Elk Mills Maryland home in murder suicide.
Marcus Edward Milligan, 39, shot dead his wife Tara Devina Ricker Milligan, 37, inside their Elk Mills home on Friday morning.
He then killed their three children, Teresa Milligan, 14; Nora Milligan, 11; and Finn Milligan, 8, before turning the gun on himself, Cecil County authorities said.
Police say they a received a call from a man just on 9.20am saying the children and a woman had been fatally shot. It remained unclear if the caller was Marcus.
Responding police arrived at the scene to ten minutes later to find all five family members dead from gunshot wounds in the garage and on the first and second floors of the house in the suburban cul-de-sac.
Cancer death anniversary coincidence?
Investigators found a handgun next to Marcus’ body inside the garage, WBFF reported.
The tragedy comes three years and one week to the day since Marcus and Tara lost their youngest son, Conor, to childhood cancer.
The mom shared a photo of her holding him on Facebook on September 4, writing: ‘Somehow it’s been three whole years since we had to say goodbye to Conor.
‘What wouldn’t I give for another perfect moment like this one, even if just for a heartbeat.’
It remains unclear whether the anniversary of their son’s death is related to Marcus’ apparent murder-suicide of his family.
An investigation into the family’s deaths is ongoing.
Following the news of their deaths, friends and family members took to Facebook to remember the Milligans.
Mental health cited
Tara’s sister, Aislinn Ricker Mellor, wrote on Friday: ‘Our hearts are shattered.
‘Teresa, Nora and Finn deserved to grow up,’ she said. ‘We grieve, too, for Tara’s husband, Marc.
‘Mental health is so important and so difficult to navigate and understand.’
She added: ‘We know Tara is having a beautiful reunion with her precious little Conor, and while we ache for them here on Earth, we know they are at peace and with our Savior.’
Family friend Alisha Minter also wrote that when her family first moved to Maryland, the Milligans were the first family they met.
‘The light they and their beautiful children brought in, you immediately fell in love with them,’ she wrote. ‘Watching them from the church pews, smiling and laughing. Having dinner and lunch dates with this family was a highlight of our day.’
‘Tara and the children should be alive today,’
Minter went on to write that Conor was diagnosed with cancer at around the same time her daughter was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder.
‘Tara and I spoke a lot about our babies and the hardships that would soon follow, but I never ever thought this would be the end of their loving family.
‘Tara held my hand many times and I held hers,’ she said, adding: ‘I know that the reunion is a beautiful one for the family.’
She then apologized to Marcus ‘that we, as a congregation failed you in these dark times. I’m so sorry you felt this was the only way out of it.
‘Tara and the children should be alive today,’ Minter concluded. ‘They didn’t deserve this.
‘Marc should be alive today,’ she went on. ‘You didn’t deserve this either.
‘We need to do better about checking on one another and making sure they are OK,’ Minter wrote. ‘Mental illness is a debilitating disease that effects an entire family.
‘Please heed this warning, and check on your kin, and your friends, especially when they go quiet.’
During a Friday afternoon news conference, Cecil County Sheriff Scott Adams said, ‘this is a terrible and tragic day for our community.’
There had been no previous history of emergency calls from the house and the police put out a reverse 911 call to assure the surrounding areas there was no threat to the public.
The Elk Mills residential neighborhood is in northeast Maryland about five miles away from the Delaware border.