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Family of 5 dead in Lake Minnetonka home; murder-suicide suspected

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South Lake Minnetonka police are investigating.
South Lake Minnetonka police are investigating the death of five people in a home in Greenwood, Minn., on Lake Minnetonka on September 10, 2015.
Brandt Williams | MPR News

Updated Sept. 11, 10:05 a.m. | Posted Sept. 10, 2:23 p.m.

Police on Lake Minnetonka found a family of five dead early Thursday afternoon in an apparent murder-suicide.

The dead are Brian Short, Karen Short, and their three teen children: Cole, Brooklyn and Madison, according to a family member.

Property records indicate Brian and Karen Short  owned the home where police found the bodies. Brian Short, a former nurse, was founder of the website allnurses.com, a social network for nurses.

Late Thursday, the company posted a message saying it had heard of the deaths earlier in the day.

"No matter what the details are, the results are still the same," the message read, "a very tragic loss for the extended families, friends, co-workers, and this nursing community." 

South Lake Minnetonka Police Chief Mike Siitari
South Lake Minnetonka Interim Police Chief Mike Siitari talked to reporters Thursday afternoon.
Brandt Williams | MPR News

Officers were called to a wealthy enclave near St. Albans Bay just after noon, alerted by someone who worked with one of the victims, who reported that the family's children had not been in school the past two days.

Police entered the residence shortly after noon. Police radio traffic, captured by a scanner, indicated officers found the victims at various locations around the home in Greenwood, an upscale hamlet on the shore of Lake Minnetonka.

South Lake Minnetonka Interim Police Chief Mike Siitari wouldn't say how the family was killed or which member of the family apparently committed suicide. He told reporters he was comfortable calling it a murder-suicide at this point.

Authorities added in a statement that there appears to be no threat or danger to the community and that the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is processing the "complex crime scene."

Siitari said a fuller investigation of the deaths is expected to take several days.

"There's no words to describe it," he said of the crime scene. "I've been a cop for 32 years ... an event like this, with an entire family, it's, I say, a tragedy.

MPR News reporters Tim Nelson and Curtis Gilbert contributed to this report.