A quiet neighborhood in northern Ohio was left in shock when police discovered the bodies of five individuals, including three children, in what appears to be a quadruple murder-suicide. The tragic incident unfolded during a domestic dispute, leaving the Dunham family devastated. Jason, 46, Melissa, 42, and their children Renee, 15, Amber, 12, and Evan, 9, were found lifeless in their Lake Township home, located approximately 15 miles outside Akron. Authorities were initially called for a welfare check at around 7:30 p.m., and the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation has been brought in to assist with the ongoing investigation.
The Stark County Coroner’s Office confirmed the identities of the victims as the investigation unfolded. While it remains unclear who fired the fatal shots, the police believe that no other individuals were involved. The Dunhams were active participants in various community activities, including band, Girl Scouts, and Boy Scouts. According to Chief Investigator Harry Campbell, all family members succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead at the scene at 9:52 p.m.
Authorities are working diligently to piece together the events leading up to the tragedy. Uniontown Police Chief Michael Batchik revealed that Jason Dunham’s handgun was used in the shooting. Both Jason and Melissa Dunham possessed permits to carry concealed weapons.
The investigation was initiated after one of Melissa’s coworkers expressed concern about her well-being, having not heard from her for two days. Upon arrival at the Dunham residence, police discovered packages at the front door and accumulated mail, indicating that the family had not left the premises. With the assistance of a neighbor, officers gained access to the home and found the deceased family members in their respective bedrooms.
The devastating incident has left the community grappling with grief and disbelief. Uniontown Police Chief Batchik, who has served in law enforcement for 23 years, described it as the worst crime he has encountered throughout his career. The Lake Local Schools Superintendent, Kevin Tobin, was informed of the tragedy by Chief Batchik and immediately activated the district’s crisis response team.