LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Officers responding to the scene of a possible suicide of a 39-year-old man in Little Rock found an even more troubling scene when they discovered the victim was dead in bed along with his two dead children, Arkansas police said.
Little Rock police said investigators believe Robert Mangan killed his 4-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son before taking his own life. The bodies were found Sunday.
A cause of death wasn’t immediately released, but police said they were no obvious signs of trauma on the children.
Officer Steve Moore said the children’s mother found the bodies. Moore says she told officers she and Mangan were recently separated.
The deaths come amid a dramatic spike in homicides in Little Rock. Following the Sunday deaths, Arkansas’ capital city has now seen 45 homicides this year, three more than all of last year.
A downtown Little Rock nightclub was the site of a shooting during a rap concert that left 28 people injured in early July.
The Little Rock Police Department began increasing officer patrols in certain parts of the city Friday in an effort to curb the violence. Police spokesman Steve McClanahan told The Associated Press Monday that even with police working additional hours, situations like the apparent murder-suicide won’t be prevented.
“You could have a thousand extra police, and you’ll still have this,” McClanahan said.
Little Rock is on pace to approach an annual total of homicides not seen since the city’s gang wars of the early 1990s. Justice Department figures show 68 deaths in 1993 attributed to murder or manslaughter. Little Rock police spokesman Steve McClanahan has said other killings, such as justifiable homicide, pushed the total to 78 that year.