Autopsies show 3 deaths in West Des Moines were homicides

June 17, 2019
West Des Moines Police and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation investigate multiple deaths in a home on the 900 block of 65th Street on Saturday, June 15, 2019, in West Des Moines, Iowa. (Kelsey Kremer/The Des Moines Register via AP)

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Police investigating the shooting deaths of four family members in a Des Moines suburb are classifying three of the deaths as homicides and one as a suicide.

West Des Moines police said Monday that autopsies showed 44-year-old Chandrasekhar Sunkara’s death was a suicide. The deaths of his wife, 41-year-old Lavanya Sunkara, and two of their children, boys aged 15 and 10, were homicides.

Other family members who were staying as guests at the home discovered the bodies Saturday.

Police didn’t release details about the deaths and haven’t named the boys who were killed.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety says Chandrasekhar Sunkara had worked for 11 years in the department’s information technology unit. He wasn’t a sworn officer.

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