IA - 4 Dead: Lavanya Sunkara, 44, Chandrasekhar Sunkara, 41, 15 & 10 yo boys Des Moines 15 June 2019

Discussion in 'Crimes in the News' started by PastTense, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. PastTense

    PastTense Well-Known Member

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    "Four people who were found dead in a West Des Moines home Saturday had suffered gunshot wounds, police said.

    Lavanya Sunkara, 44, Chandrasekhar Sunkara, 41, a 15-year-old boy and a 10-year-old boy were pronounced dead at the scene, according to a news release. All four lived at the home. Autopsies will be performed to determine the official cause of death.

    Police said other family members — two adults and two children — were staying as guests. After discovering the victims, "one of the survivors" fled the house looking for help, police said. The survivor reportedly found someone walking through the neighborhood, who then called 911."


    Police: 4 bodies found with gunshot wounds at West Des Moines home
     
  2. Blondie in Spokane

    Blondie in Spokane Well-Known Member

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    This whole incident is horrific but dang we need a whole lot more info here....
     
  3. scriabina

    scriabina Well-Known Member

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    Murder-suicide?? I saw on one of the victims' Facebook page that he won an award for excellence in public safety. It's too bad that award wasn't able to save those four lives.
     

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  4. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Chandrasekhar Sunkara, Lavanya Sunkara West des Moines deaths
    Chandrasekhar Sunkara, Lavanya Sunkara West des Moines deaths occurred at 935 65th Street, just off of Ashworth Road.


    [​IMG]
    According to Wade, a call was received around 10 a.m. for an “unknown problem” that resulted in authorities being dispatched to a residence at 935 65th St., between Ashworth Road and Aspen Drive.
     
  5. PastTense

    PastTense Well-Known Member

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    I plugged the address into Zillow to get an estimate of the house's worth:
    https://www.zillow.com/how-much-is-my-home-worth/
    935 65th St
    West Des Moines, IA 50266
    5 bds · 5 ba · 3,157 sqft


    Zestimate
    $578,435

    So it was a well off family [Iowa home values are not crazy like those in California and a number of other urban areas.]

    And note the news release says:
    "We are confident, though, that there is no continuing threat to the community"

    City News | West Des Moines, IA
     
  6. BetteDavisEyes

    BetteDavisEyes All the boys think she's a spy...

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  7. molly1255

    molly1255 Well-Known Member

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    Possibly. Family annihilator? The police have said the public is not in danger.

    I read they just bought this house in March. I am not sure if the wife was employed, but the husband worked for the state, I believe.
     
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  8. PastTense

    PastTense Well-Known Member

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    "The deaths to the Sunkara family of four on Saturday sent shockwaves through the metro. "You don’t see something like this happen in the Indian community, let alone a heinous act like this," said Shrikar Somayajula who has known the Sunkaras for over a decade. Somayajula is a director at A Grade Ahead, an after-school enrichment academy in West Des Moines, where both boys attended frequently...

    "The family was a very friendly family and so it is really painful," said Somayajula. He added, "For someone who we’ve known so close and we’ve seen them come in week after week come in for classes and we’ve seen them as recent as last Wednesday, to learn that they are not there anymore is something that really breaks our heart."

    Out of respect for the family, Shrikar did not wish to reveal their names at this time but saw a strong future in both Sunkara boys. "They participated in all the academy competitions and even at the national level. "Really bright children. Just heads down and minded their business always," Somayajula said."

    Unanswered Questions Swirl After Family of Four Dies in WDM Home

    "The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) confirmed Chandrasekhar Sunkara was an IT professional employee in the Technology Services Bureau for the the department."

    Man found dead with his family in WDM home was a DPS employee

    The Department of Public Safety includes the law enforcement functions of the state--Iowa State Patrol, Division of Criminal Investigation, State Fire Marshall, Division of Narcotics Enforcement.
    Iowa Department of Public Safety
     
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  9. scriabina

    scriabina Well-Known Member

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    I wonder why they are not releasing clarification about whether it was a murder or a murder-suicide? Since LE says no one else is in danger, but also no one appears to be in custody for the deaths, one would assume the killer is dead, and if that's the case, wouldn't LE be able to determine the killer via gun powder residue and other crime scene evidence?
     
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  10. PastTense

    PastTense Well-Known Member

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    If they say it is a murder-suicide and they are wrong then they could be subject to lawsuits and negative publicity. So law enforcement is usually slow to do this. So they are doing more interviews and may be waiting for the results of lab tests, autopies....
     
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  11. PastTense

    PastTense Well-Known Member

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    "Chandra and Lavanya Sunkara were originally from Hyderabad, India’s sixth largest city. It is often called “The City of Pearls,” due to its history of diamond and pearl trading. Chandra’s Facebook page shows that he attended Maturi Venkata Subba Rao (MVSR) Engineering College in Hyderabad and graduated in 1996. It is unknown when the couple moved to the United States....

    Friends of the family are mourning the deaths of the two boys, who are not being named publicly due to their juvenile status. Their coach wrote on social media that the two boys were avid basketball players, playing on the Mullets basketball team. One was nicknamed “The Professor” and the other was known as “Champ.”"

    Lavanya & Chandrasekhar Sunkara: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know | Heavy.com
     
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  12. PastTense

    PastTense Well-Known Member

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    One thing a bit odd about the case is that they haven't released the names of the kids "because they are minors". Is this common? I see the names of a lot of kids who have been killed.

    One thing though is they often don't release the names of the perps if they are minors--except after long delays. So one possibility is that one of the kids was the killer. [I personally had been thinking the stereotype "father kills wife and kids".]
     
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  13. Blondie in Spokane

    Blondie in Spokane Well-Known Member

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  14. Blondie in Spokane

    Blondie in Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea how I messed up my above post. What I was trying to say is that I’ve never seen minor victims names withheld before. Very odd.
     
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  15. Blondie in Spokane

    Blondie in Spokane Well-Known Member

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  16. molly1255

    molly1255 Well-Known Member

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  17. scriabina

    scriabina Well-Known Member

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    There's no way to prove it but I'm willing to believe that 98% of murder-suicide killers are mentally ill. Unless some people really are that evil, most would have to be very VERY sick to kill your own children and spouse. Large-scale studies are warranted to be done on these sorts of killers: Did they have a history of violence or mental illness? Were they on psych meds and if so were they adherent or had they stopped them recently? What patterns can be found? Society needs to be answering these questions and getting to the root of the problem so that we can stop these tragic murders from occurring. I am so tired of hearing about parents killing their children. It must stop!!
     
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  18. AbstractVino

    AbstractVino Active Member

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    Wow, I live a few streets away so this hits close to home. My neighbors and some of my family knew the Sunkaras personally. I haven’t been able to sleep since learning of this tragic circumstance. Those poor boys. I am not sure what I can say here since it is still an ongoing investigation, but willing to answer questions if that is allowed on this platform. I don’t have a lot of information, but I do know details that the media hasn’t released. I attached photos I took on Saturday evening on my way to the grocery.
     

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  19. Laughing

    Laughing Rarely Speechless

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    Welcome to Websleuths!

    Consider becoming a Verified Insider for this situation:

    Verified Professional and Insider Members

    usually, posts stating facts need a link to a police report or newspaper/TV station article, unsupported posts are removed by moderators. A Verified Insider can post without those links.

    Sorry to learn of the trauma in your neighborhood, @AbstractVino!
     
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  20. AbstractVino

    AbstractVino Active Member

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    I think the problem is there is no proof who killed the kids. Reasoning suggests, “oh he killed himself, murder/suicide.” In my opinion, he definitely killed her and killed himself. From what I have heard from close insiders, there is not much more information available. The circumstances and details are not only tragic but bizarre.
     
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