The December deaths of an Indiana man and his two teenage daughters have been ruled a murder-suicide, more than a month after their bodies were discovered in their home.
Jeffrey Marvin, 47, killed his teenage daughters Lexis Marvin, 18, and Haley Marvin, 15, who were all discovered dead in the family’s home in Elkhart on December 18.
“The Homicide Unit has substantially completed its investigation and evidence documented does establish that Mr. Marvin appeared to have a motive, and did kill his two daughters,” the prosecuting attorney for Elkhart County said in a statement, adding that Marvin died by suicide after the killings. Out of respect for the family, there is no plan to release any additional details about the alleged motive in the case, prosecutors said.
An Elkhart County Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to the Marvin home around 4 p.m. on December 18 to conduct a welfare check after those who knew the family grew concerned that they had not seen them for several days.
The officer entered the “secured home” and found all three dead inside.
The scene initially suggested that the two teens had been shot to death by their father, but authorities wanted to conduct a formal investigation, which concluded last week, before drawing any final conclusions.
Neighbor Kim Bishop told The Goshen News that Jeffrey Marvin had been depressed and out of work before the killings.
“He fell on some hard times this last year,” she said. “I think bringing attention to the fact that people do suffer from that is important…But we had no clue how bad it was. We were torn up over it.”
She said that she and her husband, Jeff Bishop, had known Marvin for more than a decade and described him as a “wonderful father.”
“His whole life was about those girls and taking care of them and protecting them. He guarded them. It’s tragic. It’s just really tragic,” she said, adding that she had called authorities to do the welfare check after noticing their car had not been moved in days.
Jeff Bishop remembered Marvin as someone who was always willing to lend a hand, whether it was helping him with a car in his garage or working on another project together.
Another neighbor, Judy Rinehart, described Marvin as being “very protective” of his daughters and said the neighborhood residents had been “stunned” to learn of the deaths.
“They were always sweet girls,” she said. “They would ride their bikes and stuff here. He didn’t let them wander too far.”
In addition to withholding a possible motive, authorities said they do not plan to release any additional details about the circumstances around the deaths. Marvin shared custody of his daughters with his ex-wife, People reported.
“These young ladies are profoundly mourned by many, and the assistance provided by their friends, the Concord School community, and their family, was crucial in understanding the circumstances,” prosecutors said.
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