PLEASANT VALLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A father and his 9-year-old and 13-year-old sons were shot to death and investigators were searching their Dutchess County town using k-9s and air units for a possible fourth victim, state police said Thursday.
The father, identified as Abbas Lodhi, 49, and one of his sons were found dead in a car parked at an A&P supermarket in Pleasant Valley around 8:30 a.m. Thursday, said Capt. John Ryan of the state police investigative unit in Dutchess County.
After those bodies were found, police went to the family home and found the other boy shot dead.
The sons were identified as Zain Lodhi, 9, and Mugthba Lodhi, 13. Police didn’t immediately specify which boy was found at which location.
Ryan said a shotgun believed to have been used in the killings was found with the car.
It was unclear who pulled the trigger in the shootings.
Ryan declined to discuss whether the deaths were the result of a murder-suicide, but called the deaths a “family tragedy” and said there is not a public safety concern.
The mother of the boys, 43-year-old Sarwat Lodhi, was still missing Thursday night, CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported. Police said she was believed to be a victim, not a suspect, and may have been injured.
“I can’t tell you how she is injured. I can tell you that she’s injured and that we’re actively looking for her through a variety of assets and resources including aviation, canine, etc, and we are putting in every effort to try and locate her,” a department spokesman said.
Ryan said the motive was unclear.
“I think it’s one of the most or more tragic things I have seen,” Ryan said at a news conference. “I find myself having two young boys that — it’s emotional seeing what has happened to these kids. I couldn’t even put into words how tragic it is for all of us.”
While details in the gruesome crime remained unclear residents who knew the victims struggled to understand how something like this could happen.
“Zain was a good kid. He was a big kid that always had a smile on his face. He was kind of quiet but he was a peacemaker. He was always the one that never wanted anyone to fight,” Michael Piccione said.
Pleasant Valley is a town of about 9,000 residents about 75 miles north of New York City, near Poughkeepsie.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Sarwat has been asked to contact the New York State Police, Troop K, at (845) 677-7300.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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