Police release gruesome details after Traverse City murder-suicide

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GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich. -- Michigan State Police on Monday released disturbing new information in the deaths of a Garfield Township family of four.

A woman, a man, and their two young children were found dead in the Traverse City area home Thursday night in an apparent murder-suicide. According to a release, Tamisha Marie Mendenhall, 34, was found dead in the home after apparently stabbing herself in the groin and piercing her femoral artery.

Jeffrey Allan Mendenhall, 54, and the couple's children, 3-year-old Olivia and 6-year-old Thomas, were also found dead inside the home. Police said in a release that the three bodies were posed, and the children were holding stuffed animals and flowers.

Jeffrey Mendenhall and the children showed no signs of physical injury, according to a release.

State police said they discovered multiple empty bottles of the prescription benzodiazepine, a class of drug used to treat anxiety and induce sleep. White residue was found on a couple of medical cups, officials said. However, toxicology results for the victims have not yet been released.

A helium tank was found in the bedroom where the children's bodies were, according to a release. Vinyl tubing was attached to the tank with tape.

Police believe the family died Aug. 11, the same day that the prescriptions, helium tank, and flowers were obtained. Officials initially went to the home after a coworker of Jeffrey Mendenhall reported that he hadn't been at work for several days, according to 9&10 News.

Tamisha Mendenhall was the last person alive in the home, according to a release.

The investigation is ongoing.

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