Children's books author among family of five found shot dead in Massachusetts home

Joseph Zaccardi and Deirdre Zaccardi were found dead along with their three children.
Image: Law enforcement officers investigate the home where two adults and three children were found dead with gunshot wounds in Abington, Mass., on Oct. 7, 2019.
Law enforcement officers investigate the home where two adults and three children were found dead with gunshot wounds in Abington, Mass., on Oct. 7, 2019.Steven Senne / AP

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By Minyvonne Burke

A Massachusetts author who wrote children's books has been identified as one of the five family members found shot to death in their home.

Police were called to the Abington home at around 7:30 a.m. Monday and discovered two adults, Joseph Zaccardi, 43, and his wife, Deirdre, 40, dead, the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office said in a news release.

The couple's three children, 11-year-old Alexis and 9-year-old twins Nathaniel and Kathryn, were also found dead in the home.

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According to Joseph Zaccardi's Facebook page, he penned several children's books and sold them on Amazon. In an April 2017 Facebook post, he announced that he had published his third book, "All Mixed Up."

"Purchasing a copy will obviously help to promote the book, but simply spreading the word about its release would be extremely helpful too!" he wrote.

His wife commented on the post, writing: "I'm so proud of you!"

The bodies were discovered after a family member stopped by the home to take the children to school, D.A. Tim Cruz said, adding that he was unaware of any "domestic issues" at the home.

NBC Boston reported that the deaths are being investigated as a murder-suicide.

One neighbor, Heather McNulty, told the outlet that she and her husband were watching television when they heard "loud banging." When she looked out the door, she saw the door to the dumpster was swinging and thought that's where the noises had come from.

"Whatever we heard ... was obviously something way more," she said.

Debbie Welling, who said she was a friend of the Zaccardis, told the outlet that they were a "super fun-loving" family.

"It just proves that anything can happen at any time. We're just so devastated. There's no reason. There are no words," Welling said.

The Abington Public Schools superintendent confirmed that Alexis, Nathaniel and Kathryn attended the schools in the district.

"Their presence touched so many lives and there are no words to express the sadness we feel," Peter Schafer said in a note sent out to the community. "Counselors are and will be available throughout the district to help our students during and after school."

Relatives of the victims released a statement via the district attorney's office saying they have "suffered an unfathomable loss" and asking for privacy.