Matthew Edwards’ rampage including killing his wife and their three young children. The bodies were discovered by another child who had been staying at the home. The horror unfolded along the 2700 block of Ferris Road in the Prices Corner neighborhood of Wilmington, Delaware, on July 9. At that home, police say Edwards, 42, killed his wife, Julie Burton Edwards, 41, and their three children who were all under the age of eight. The children have been named as Jacob, 6, Brinley, 4 and Paxton, 3. The family was first named in a report by ABC Philadelphia.
Delaware Online reports that state police were dispatched to the home at around 8 p.m. Once inside, police made the horrific discovery.
Speaking to the media outside of the house, Sgt. Richard Bratz of the Delaware State Police said, “It is with heavy heart I come with this to you guys. Our thoughts are with the family during this time.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Edwards Was Recently Emotional Over Losing His Job
A neighbor of the Edwards family told ABC Philadelphia that Matthew Edwards had been emotional over losing his job, the day before the murders. That neighbor says he told Edwards, “just worry about your kids.”
2. One Neighbor Referred tot he Family as ‘Not Exactly Friendly’
Speaking to Delaware Online, one neighbor, Myrna Hernandez, said that the family was “not exactly friendly.” Hernandez also said that she didn’t know the family very well but that she had seen their children playing in a swimming pool in their backyard during the summer. Hernandez added, “I don’t understand. It’s hard to grasp something like that, especially with children,” and that she hadn’t heard any gunshots coming from the home on July 9. Another neighbor, Brian Covenko, told NBC Philadelphia, “There’s three kids in there, wife and husband. Kind of in shock as we’re really friends with them.”
Julie Burton Edwards’ brother, William, paid tribute to the family on Facebook writing, ”
Tonight heaven gained 4 angels, my sister Julie Burton Edwards, nephew Jacob, nephew Paxton and niece Brinley. I am numb, heart broken and angry beyond belief. Please pull your loved ones close, hold them tight abs enjoy the moment, you don’t know how many more there will be.”
3. A Child Who Was Staying at the Home Made the Horrific Discovery
CBS Philadelphia reports that it was a child who made the discovery of the dead bodies inside of the home. Alisha Garvin told the station, “A neighbor said she watched him get out of a red truck, go inside the house and then rush right back out, so apparently he had to have found them ’cause no one else was around.”
4. Julie Edwards Had Gone Through Extensive Weight Loss Over the Last Year
On May 7, Julie Edwards posted a photo to Facebook showing the extensive weight loss she had gone through over the past year. Julie wrote that she found it difficult to identify herself in certain photos. She wrote in part, “The struggle during weightloss is real. Loosing the pounds is a hard, yes. But there are so many other factors that people don’t think about. It’s not just about the numbers on the scale, it is the mental image of what you see, it is what you imagine others view you as, it coping with the changes to your body, not seeing the muscles behind the extra skin, sore aching joints, mental break downs, and not having support where you thought you would have it most. It’s hard to trust people.” In a separate post a week later, Julie said that prior to marrying Matthew Edwards in 2010 she had a trainer who helped her to lose between 70 and 80 pounds.
5. Murder Suicides Account for as Many as 1,500 Deaths in the U.S. Per Year
There is no national tracking for murder suicide statistics in the United States. The Violence Policy Center said in 2015 that there are between 1,000 and 1,500 deaths every year due to murder suicides. The center says that the vast majority of the perpetrators are males and that domestic violence is commonly a motivating factor. The Centers for Disease Control says that five percent of homicides are followed by a suicide every year.