Mother charged after four young children and father found dead

Four young children and their father have been found apparently stabbed to death in a home outside Atlanta, and police said the mother - now charged with their deaths - was the one who called 911 to report the killings.

A fifth child, a girl, survived and was taken to hospital with injuries described as serious, police said.

The woman was detained by police after the bodies were found inside the home in Loganville, Gwinnett County police Corporal Michele Pihera told reporters at the scene.

Police later charged 33-year-old Isabel Martinez with five counts of malice murder, five counts of murder and six counts of aggravated assault.

"She was quickly taken into custody and right now she's at Gwinnett County Police Headquarters being interviewed," Cpl Pihera said.

Police have not said whether she was injured and said a motive was not immediately known.

"Right now we believe we have everybody involved in this crime," Cpl Pihera said, adding that she does not want people in the community to think that a dangerous person is at large.

Cpl Pihera said the mother was speaking Spanish in the 911 call, which initially made it difficult for operators to communicate with her. The county sheriff's office said Martinez was being held for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement but did not provide further details.

Early indications are that a knife was used to attack the five, though a medical examiner will make the final determination about the cause of death, Cpl Pihera said.

The injured girl was still alive on Thursday afternoon, police said in a brief update on the case.

The four other children appear to be under age 10, Cpl Pihera said. Their father was in his mid-30s, she said.

Police initially said in a statement that a woman inside the home called police at 4.47am local time on Thursday to report a stabbing and officers answering the call found the five bodies inside.

- PA


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