msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 6/22/2010 3:26:41 AM ET 2010-06-22T07:26:41

New Mexico State Police are investigating the deaths of two boys and an adult in an apparent murder-suicide.

State Police Lt. Eric Garcia said two boys — aged 12 and 10 — were apparently shot with a handgun by their father, who then killed himself. Investigators said it happened Sunday or early Monday in the small community of La Puebla, about 25 miles north of Santa Fe.

The man was identified as 44-year-old Melvin Martinez, who authorities say was a state Department of Transportation employee.

Garcia said a family member alerted authorities at 2 p.m. Monday. State police were talking to relatives and neighbors to gather more information.

Investigators said the bodies were found lying on the same bed.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that there was no sign of a struggle at the scene.

"We're still trying to figure out why he would do something like this," Garcia told the newspaper.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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