Dad Took Kids to Theme Park Day Before Killing Whole Family

Mom Megan Short was planning new life away from her abusive ex
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2016 6:01 AM CDT
The Short family in happier times, four months after baby Willow received a heart transplant in 2014 when she was 6 days old.   (Susan L. Angstadt/Reading Eagle via AP, File)

(Newser) – A Pennsylvania father took his three kids to Hershey Park the day before he killed them, Time reports. On Aug. 6, Mark Short, 40, penned an “emotional” suicide note before he shot the children, his estranged wife, and the family dog, before shooting himself in the head, authorities said. New details have emerged Monday in the tragic murder-suicide. Officials said the bodies of Megan Short and the couple’s children, Lianna, 8, Mark Jr., 5, and Willow, 2, were found in the living room clad in pajamas and tucked under blankets. Each suffered one gunshot wound. The Short family first made headlines in 2014 during the battle to save their newborn daughter, Willow, who underwent a heart transplant shortly after birth.

District Attorney John T. Adams said Mark Short was upset over the breakup of his marriage. The Morning Call reports that Megan Short, 33, had made plans for a new life away from her abusive husband. On the day she and the kids were set to move to a new apartment, Mark Short turned up with a .38-caliber revolver that he had bought on July 18, the day after police were called to the family house in Sinking Spring. Megan Short told police she feared Mark, reports the Reading Eagle, but never followed their instructions to get a restraining order. Adams said police did as much as they could to help Megan Short. "This was a very, very unfortunate incident,” he said. (Read more domestic violence stories.)

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