Defense Contractor and Family Found Dead in Virginia


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Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(FAIRFAX, Va.) — A Virginia man is believed to have killed his wife and two sons in a murder-suicide at their home in Virginia, police said on Wednesday.

The bodies of Albert and Kathleen Peterson and their sons were found Tuesday morning by police performing a welfare check on the family after one of the adults did not show up to work for two days.

On Wednesday, Fairfax County police said that the investigation is now pointing toward Albert Peterson, 57, as the killer.  All four members of the Peterson family received gun shot wounds to their upper bodies, according to a statement released by the police.

“The preliminary investigation indicates that Albert Peterson killed his wife and their children before taking his own life,” the Fairfax County police said in a statement.

Kathleen Peterson, 52, worked for defense contracting firm Blackbird Technologies in Herndon, Va., where the couple lived.  Albert Peterson had worked for Northtrop Grumman until he resigned in 2009.  It is not clear where he was working at the time of the incident.

The couple had two children: Matthew, 16, a high school sophomore, and Christhoper, 13, who was in eighth grade.

Neighbor Jim Steele told ABC News affiliate WJLA-TV that the Petersons were a nice family in the neighborhood.

“This is a horrible tragedy,” Steele said.  “They seemed like a very nice family.  Didn’t see anything amiss around the house. It’s quite a shock.”

Blackbird Technologies released a statement confirming that Kathie worked for the company and expressing their shock.  The company works with the federal government on intelligence and defense issues, according to The Washington Post.

“Kathie Peterson worked as an integral and well respected member of Blackbird Technologies’ Procurement Team,” read a statement by the company.  “She will be remembered as a high energy, devoted parent who always had a smile to share.  She often told stories about her sons, their sports and community activities.  She is already missed.  We have lost a member of our Blackbird family.  We are still trying to absorb the shock of this tragedy.”

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