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Mount Airy, Maryland – Murder-Suicide Confirmed In Deaths Of Frederick Co. Family

By • Sep 26th, 2009 • Category: News

DISCLAIMER - Any Charges Reported in these Press Releases are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty.test

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(Mt. Airy, MD) – The four victims found dead inside a Frederick County home last night have been positively identified as the members of the family who lived at that address and died as a result of murder-suicide.

The deceased are identified as Charles L. Dalton Sr., 38, the husband and father, his wife, Jennifer A. Dalton, 37, their son, Charles L. Dalton Jr., 14, and their daughter, Emmaline E. Dalton, 7.  All four lived in the quad-level home in the 300-block of Contour Road, Mt. Airy, Md.

The four were identified today during autopsies conducted at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore.  The medical examiner determined each person died of a single gunshot wound to the head.  The cause of death for Jennifer Dalton and her two children was murder.  The cause of death for Charles Dalton Sr. was suicide.

Maryland State Police investigators and crime scene technicians spent last night and most of the early morning hours today processing the scene.  Investigators said Jennifer Dalton was found lying in bed in the master bedroom.  Charles Dalton Sr. was found lying next to the bed.  A .12 gauge pump shotgun was found next to his body.  Troopers have not found a suicide note.

Charles Dalton Jr. was found in bed in his bedroom.  Emmaline Dalton was found in her bed in a separate bedroom.

The preliminary investigation indicates Mrs. Dalton and her two children were shot by her husband as they slept.  Mr. Dalton then used the same shotgun to commit suicide.  All four victims were shot in the head.  A motive for the murders has not been clearly identified at this time.

The family dog, a beagle, was also found dead.  The dog had been shot while in a crate inside the front door of the home.

Investigators believe the murders and suicide occurred between Thursday night and Friday morning.  Mrs. Dalton failed to report to work at her part-time job at a veterinary hospital in Damascus.  Fellow employees called her home and cell phone beginning at 8:30 a.m. Friday, but received no answer.
One of Mrs. Dalton’s co-workers stopped by the house at 2:15 p.m. Friday, but there was no answer at the door.  There was no school in Frederick County Friday.

Troopers learned Charles Dalton Sr. was self-employed as a carpenter and cabinet maker.  He also worked the night shift as a maintenance worker for Montgomery County schools.

Charles Dalton Jr. was in ninth grade.  He was a junior firefighter at the Mt. Airy Volunteer Fire Company, the same company that responded to his home yesterday.  Emmaline Dalton was an elementary school student.

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