Father, children dead in apparent murder suicide

October 19, 2010 2:10:56 PM PDT
A father shot his two children and then turned the gun on himself in Ringwood, New Jersey, according to police.

Authorities say Ringwood Police Officers responded to the house on Skyview Road to check on the welfare of a father and two children on Monday night.

The children's mother had called police just before 8:00 p.m. after the father had taken the children from a Wayne day care center without her knowledge.

Ringwood police officers responded to the scene and found the couple's five year old daughter, Jada Birth, dead on the porch with a gunshot wound to the back of her head.

The police found the father, 38 year old Kurtis V. Birth, seated inside his car, a black Nissan Maxima, parked in the driveway. He was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the right side of his head.

Fearing for the safety of the second child, the police entered the home and found the three year old boy, Jordan Birth, also dead from an apparent gunshot wound to the back of his head.

All three were pronounced dead at the scene.

The mother of the children, 37-year-old Zoey Mendoza-Birth, arrived at the house after the children were shot. Although not injured, she was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Paterson for evaluation.

The family is from Pompton Lakes. The incident happened at the home of a relative.

Police say the incident is under investigation, but that all indications are that the father killed the two children and then himself.