A night-shift worker returned home to find his wife, son and granddaughter had been murdered, officials said.
Robert Short called 911 about 8 a.m. on Monday after making the discovery in the Upatoi area of Columbus, Georgia, police Lt. Ronnie Hastings told NBC News.
The victims were identified as 54-year-old Gloria Short, 17-year-old Caleb Short and 11-year-old Giane Lindsey.
The three relatives were found in different rooms of the house and appeared to have been killed in a "brutal" way, Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan told NBC station WLTZ.
Hastings declined to describe the nature of the deaths.
"I have been here for more than 30 years and I can tell you that we've never had a murder on that street," he added.
A Volkswagen Beetle and a GMC Envoy were also reported to be missing from the home. Authorities later found the vehicles parked about 20 miles away.