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BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Authorities are investigating after a woman shot and killed her sleeping twin daughters before turning the gun on herself Friday in an apparent double murder-suicide, according to KIRO-TV and the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

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Deputies responded around 1:15 p.m. Saturday to a request for a welfare check at a multi level home on Sunflower Circle in Sudden Valley. A person living in the home reported finding his landlord and her children dead in an upstairs bedroom, officials said.

Investigators determined that the woman, identified as Michele Boudreau Deegan, 55, shot her 7-year-old daughters before turning the gun on herself. Officials believe the shooting happened sometime Friday evening.

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Deegan “had been involved in a custody dispute over the children, which appears to be the primary motive behind the incident,” deputies said.

Officials declined to release more information about the shooting pending final autopsy results. Authorities continue to investigate.

Washington police investigate apparent double murder-suicide

Sheriff’s deputies in Whatcom County, Washington, are investigating after a woman apparently shot her twin daughters before shooting herself on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020.