• Abington community coming together after tragic family deaths

    By: Kelly Sullivan

    Updated:

    ABINGTON, Mass. - A South Shore community is coming together after an entire family is found dead in their home.

    Police made the terrible discovery Monday morning after a family member went to the condo on Centre Avenue to bring one of the children to school.

    At the town offices and public library Tuesday, the sign out front displays a green heart, representing the school's color. Many students are expected to wear green today as a sign of solidarity.

    "Just a normal family, no signs of any trouble," says Debbie Welling, who knew the family. "It just proves that anything can happen at any time."

    Nine-year-old twins Nathaniel and Kathryn Zaccardi, 11-year-old sister Alexis, their mother, 40-year-old Deirdre, and their father, 43-year-old Joseph, were found dead Monday morning.

    Their next door neighbor says she heard weird noises overnight.

    "[I] heard loud banging like four noises, and we jumped up and came downstairs," says Heather McNulty. "We ended up opening the door, we saw our dumpster, the door swinging, and we thought it was maybe just that, banging on the dumpster."

    A memorial has started outside the family's home.

    "People are horrified, there are truly no answers," Welling says.

    Police say they are investigating this case as a murder-suicide and that there had been no record of domestic violence at this home.

    People who knew the family say Joseph wrote children's books but had been unemployed. Deirdre worked as an office manager at a marketing company and was involved in the school council. The girls took classes at a local dance studio.

    "They were sweet little girls, and they were a pleasure to have in class," says Terri Trunfio, owner of Nancy Bradford Dance Studio. "We'll always remember them."

    Grief counselors will be available for students at school's throughout Abington.

    Police say the five deaths appear to be from gunshot wounds, but the medical examiner's office will make the final determination.

    >>Related: DA identifies family of 5, including 3 children, found dead in Abington condo

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