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June 08, 2017

D.A.: Kids' deaths in Lancaster County ruled murder suicide

The death of a mother and her two children in Strasburg Township earlier this week has been ruled a murder-suicide, investigators revealed after a review of the fiery crime scene.

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Emergency responders were dispatched early Tuesday morning for a report of a house fire at 1433 Village Road, where 40-year-old Carola Arnau and her children, ages 10 and four, were all found dead as a result of gunshot wounds.

Evidence and information from the scene strongly indicated that Arnau shot the children and a family dog before turning the gun on herself. The firearm used in the shootings was found nearby Arnau's body and soot from the discharge was found on her hand, Lancaster County prosecutors said in a statement.

Several fires were intentionally set at various locations of the property, including a detached garage where Miguel Arnau, Carola's husband, had been leaving.

Investigators said the husband was at work at the time of the incident and does not appear to have been involved with the shootings or the fires. Responders who rushed to the scene around 3 a.m. Tuesday were able to extinguish the flames in both the home and the garage.

Prosecutors confirmed that Carola Arnau had been receiving mental health treatment prior to the incident. An investigation into the couple's domestic issues is underway.

A candlelight vigil was held for the children on Wednesday night.