On Tuesday, just a few days after celebrating their daughter’s fifth birthday at their two-story home in a quiet Northampton, Pennsylvania, neighborhood, Kristin and Matthew Eberhardt died in what authorities are calling a murder-suicide, the Morning Call reported.
The incident has left neighbors perplexed. They said the couple seemed happy. The Eberhardts also had a 1-year-old baby boy, good jobs and had just bought a car together. They seemed to be living the good life.
County officials said that Matthew Eberhardt, 45, shot his 42-year-old wife on the doorstep of the home they had lived in for eight years before turning the gun on himself.
County coroner Zachary Lysek determined that Kristin died of multiple gunshot wounds, and that Matthew died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Police responded to a domestic abuse call Tuesday night, and when they arrived, they found the couple dead. According to WFMZ, the couple’s two children were in the house at the time of the shootings. The children were not hurt and have been placed with relatives.
Northampton police had no further comment on a possible motive, according to the Morning Call.
Neighbors described only a happy family. One neighbor told the Morning Call that Matthew was “a super-nice, down-to-earth guy” and described Kristin as being “very nice.”
The last public photo Kristin posted on her Facebook page was dated Dec. 21 and showed the family in front of their Christmas tree, the Morning Call reported. In the photo, Kristin and her daughter are smiling. Matthew is looking straight at the camera, while their son is crying, as if unhappy that he has to stop whatever he’s doing to smile for the camera.
Their front lawn was covered with Christmas decorations, which were still standing the morning after the gruesome deaths were discovered.
As for potential problems that could have led to a murder-suicide, nothing stood out in court records, which showed the couple had no financial problems and were not involved in any civil or criminal cases.
One neighbor who lives three houses from the Eberhardts’ home said she thought she saw a bluish flash from the couple’s home on the night they died.
She said that shortly after that, another neighbor pulled up his truck and hurried his family into it; when she asked him what was wrong, he told her there had been a shooting. Moments later, the street was filled with police cars, and soon neighbors learned the gruesome details of what happened inside the Eberhardt house.