A married couple and their two sons were found shot to death in the basement of their southeastern Pennsylvania home over the weekend in an apparent murder-suicide – two weeks after the husband had purchased a gun.
Police in Chester County responded to the West Whiteland Township home after relatives from New Jersey called shortly after 12.30pm on Sunday to report being unable to contact the family in several days.
Officers who responded to the family’s home in 100 block of Mountain View Drive entered the residence through the garage and found the bodies of a man, a woman and their two sons in the basement, Detective Scott Pezick said.
The Chester County coroner’s office identified them as Deepak Prabakhar Kulkarni, 50, Arti Madhusudan Adya, 47, Shubham Deepak Kulkarni, 14, and Sharvil Deepak Kulkarni, 7, all of West Whiteland Township.
A family of four who were found dead from a murder-suicide in Pennsylvania on Sunday were identified as Deepak Kulkarni, 50; Arti Adya, 47; Shubham Kulkarni, 14, and Sharvil Kulkarni, 7
Police performing a welfare check at the request of a relative discovered all four family members shot to death in the basement of their West Whiteland Township home (pictured)
Officers entered the home using a garage opener that was found in one of the parents’ cars
All four sustained gunshot wounds, but a final determination of the cause and manner of death are pending autopsies and further investigation, the coroner’s office said.
‘This terrible tragedy has annihilated a family,’ Coroner Christina VandePol said, expressing sympathy to relatives and neighbors.
The family had lived in the Mountain View Drive residence for two years, although they had lived in the township prior to that, Pezick said.
‘The initial investigation and evidence at the scene indicate that this incident is the result of a murder-suicide and that there is no threat to the community at large,’ township police said in a statement.
Police have not formally identified the gunman in the murder-suicide.
But according to law enforcement sources talking to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Kulkarni had bought a gun just two weeks before the murder-suicide.
Relatives and other people who knew the family said they had noticed a change in Kulkarni, saying that he seemed distant as of late.
The family’s neighbor told the Inquirer that Kulkarni was in the habit of taking daily walks to break the monotony of the coronavirus quarantine.
Arti and Deepak met in India and had been married for 18 years. Both worked in tech
A neighbor said that the usually friendly and talkative Deepak (right) seemed distant and ‘not his usual self’ in the days preceding the tragedy
She told 6abc when she last saw Kulkarni a few days before the tragedy, the usually friendly and talkative man seemed ‘not his usual self.’
Arti and Deepak met in India and had been married for 18 years. They moved to the US to pursue careers in tech.
According to the father’s Linkedin profile, Kulkarni had worked for more than 10 years as a software analyst at Education Management Systems.
His wife was employed by the University of Pennsylvania as an application developer.
Both their sons attended Collegium Charter School – a tuition-free, K-12 public school in Exton.
‘Shubham and Sharvil will remain as valued members of our school community and will be forever loved by their teachers and classmates,’ the school said in a statement. ‘We stand with those that grieve their loss and will miss their presence immensely.’
Arti’s brother, Anand Adya, told the Inquirer that in the months leading up to the killings, Kulkarni had canceled planned family events without offering an explanation.
‘It was obvious she wanted to meet, but he didn’t let us,’ he said.
He also revealed that in December, Kulkarni, whom he described as friendly but secretive, asked him for a loan.
Adya said whenever he asked his sister if anything was wrong, she would says no.
He said Arti was a ‘model citizen’ and the most devoted wife, mother, sister and daughter.
Shubham, 14 (left), and Sharvil, 7 (right), both attended Collegium Charter School – a tuition-free, K-12 public school in Exton
He last saw his sister and her husband during a group Zoom call on January 17 celebrating their father’s birthday.
‘There was no inkling that things weren’t perfect,’ he recounted.
Adya became worried for his sister and her family when he had not heard from her in over a week, and so drove to their rental home to check on them.
When he knocked on the door but got no reply, he called the police, leading to the grisly discovery in the basement.