Mark and Megan Short and their three young children, including their 2-year-old daughter who survived a heart transplant, were all found dead at their Sinking Springs, Pennsylvania, home on Saturday, August 6.
Police officials were called to the Short residence at about 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon after Megan, 33, failed to show up for a lunch date with a relative, according to ABC News. Upon arrival, the officials forced their way into the home and discovered the five family members and their dog in the living room, all dead from gunshot wounds.
Though officials have not specified who was responsible for the shootings, a handgun was found next to one of the adults, and a handwritten note was left elsewhere in the house, leading police to believe that the incident was a murder-suicide.
Megan and her husband Mark, 40, were parents to Liana, 8, Mark, 5, and Willow, 2.
“This is an apparent tragic domestic incident,” Berks County District Attorney John Adams told ABC News. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families at this difficult time.”
The couple’s youngest daughter, Willow, has been in the news before, after she underwent a heart transplant in 2014 at just six days old. A 2015 New York Times article also detailed the family’s difficulty in obtaining anti-rejection medication for the tiny heart transplant survivor.
Megan, in particular, had been open about sharing her experience as a parent to a young child with congenital heart issues, blogging for the site Philly at Heart and sharing updates on her own Facebook page.
“Willow has her annual cardiac cath and biopsy on Thursday,” she wrote in a post to Facebook on May 23. “Please wear red that day to support her!”
In a blog post on Philly at Heart in April, Megan expressed the “overwhelming anxiety” she felt bringing Willow home from the hospital the first time, and how she suffered from PTSD as a mother, fearing that “any little germ would kill” Willow.
“With time, things got easier,” she wrote. “I became more confident with the medical aspect of caring for her, but the trauma is something that never goes away. Even though she has a healthy transplanted heart, it isn’t a cure. She has to get frequent blood work and testing. I have to hold her down for this while she cries. I am constantly wondering if the next appointment is when the other shoe will drop.”
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