NESHANNOCK TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Sad new details have emerged about the deaths of a mother and young daughter whose bodies were found in a house fire in Lawrence County.
Police told KDKA’s Pam Surano on Friday that it appears to be a murder-suicide, as both the mother and daughter had gunshot wounds.
The coroner identified the victims as 12-year-old Jazmyn Keller and 38-year-old Melanie Keller on Thursday after their house caught on fire.
Authorities said each body had one gunshot wound to the head, with the mother’s wound appearing to be self-inflicted.
“There was no way anyone could get into the residence with how bad the fire was burning,” Neshannock Township Police Chief John Rand said.
Authorities said the mother had recently purchased a handgun and it was found inside the home near her body.
Authorities believe Jazmyn and Melanie died before the fire that happened on 2939 Old Plank Road. The home was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived Thursday at 9 a.m.
“Neither party was living when the fire really consumed the house,” Rand said.
Fire investigators were on the scene Friday, sorting through the debris as the house collapsed in the fire.
Jazmyn was a girl scout cadette and just finished sixth grade at Neshannock Memorial Elementary School.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, though police are calling it “very suspicious, like it was set on purpose.”
The state police have joined the investigation, along with the Fire Marshall and Neshannock police.
“It’s been rough, and it’s been hard on the community,” Rand said. “Neshannock is a small, tight community. You hate seeing tragedies like this.”
WATCH: More information on the apparent murder-suicide from KDKA’s Pam Surano.