'Unimaginable tragedy': 5 people, dog found dead at Minnesota home

The bodies of five people and a dog were found at a Minnesota home Wednesday in what a police official called an “unimaginable tragedy.”

The people, who were not identified, appear to be related, the Duluth Police Department said in a statement.

A suspect was among the dead, a police spokeswoman said.

It wasn’t clear how the five people died. The spokeswoman, Kate Van Daele, declined to comment on the cause of death.

The department said another police agency had alerted authorities to a person with access to weapons at the home where the bodies were found.

NBC affiliate KBJR of Duluth reported that the Hermantown Police Department, earlier in the day, had gotten a call about a welfare check at a home. The person they were looking for was not there.

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About an hour later, Hermantown police led Duluth police to the home where the bodies were found, according to the news station. Duluth police learned that the person Hermantown police were looking for during their welfare check was in the Duluth house. Police were familiar with the home, NBC affiliate KARE of Minneapolis reported.

Several law enforcement agencies responded to the home north of downtown Duluth, the department said. During a search, officers found the five bodies and the dog, the department said.

Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken did not provide details about the nature of their deaths during a news conference. He described the incident as a "unimaginable tragedy that struck our community, one that really is very, very difficult for us."

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson wrote in a statement on Twitter that “things happened today that can’t be undone.”

“We are a community in pain and shock, sharing a sorrow for the loss of our people,” she added. “ ... My heart, like yours, absolutely hurts for the pain of loved ones and the fear people likely experienced on their final day here with us.”