HAINES CITY, Fla. - Four people were found dead in a murder-suicide inside the Southern Dunes subdivision on Sunday morning.

  • Mark Joseph told dispatchers he shot his wife and children
  • Joseph and family members found dead inside home

Police responded just before 7:30 a.m. following a phone call where Mark Joseph, 43, told dispatchers that he had shot his wife and children.

Joseph told the dispatcher that he intended to shoot himself and the door would be unlocked.

Upon arrival at the residence, Haines City police officers and Polk County Sheriff's Office deputies entered the home and found four people dead - all from apparent gunshot wounds to the head. The deceased are Joseph's wife, Marie Joseph, 43, and his two children, Darren Joseph, 18, and Markus Joseph, 14.

The two sons were found in their respective beds and Mrs. Joseph was found lying on a couch with the husband sitting in a chair nearby. There were no other people who lived in the home. There was no evidence of any struggle.

"We cannot understand the unwarranted and senseless nature of this tragedy and the poignant reminder of the suffering that family and friends will now endure," Chief Jim Elensky said.

The incident left residents in the gated community stunned.

“The kid was just graduating from my old high school that I graduated from,” said resident Carmen Wooser. “And the 14-year-old, he was probably in high school, freshman year, and it was just very sad because there’s no real rhyme or reason why he did that.”