MARRERO, LA (WVUE) - Four members of a family are dead in what Jefferson Parish deputies call a murder-suicide. An 18-year-old made the gruesome discovery Sunday morning, finding the bodies of her mother, step-father and two young step brothers.
There are more questions than answers for the family and friends of David and Kelli Mata, gathered Sunday night, in front of the Mata' Brandi Street home in Marrero; a home just days earlier, full of life.
"What we need to do right now and what I believe, is to lean on the strength of the Lord," a local pastor said.
"She always seemed so happy, nobody ever knew if they had any type of problems or anything," Kelli Mata's friend, Patty Braud, said.
Kelli Mata's 18 year old daughter returned home from a weekend hunting trip Sunday morning to a horrifying scene.
Her friend, Allanah Ruttley explains, "She's like I walked inside and seen my mom and all of them gone."
"The four-year-old and two-year-old had been stabbed to death. The mom had been stabbed to death," Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said.
Deputies haven't disclosed David Mata's cause of death. The young boys, Caden and Liam, were found in their bedrooms.
Ruttley says, "Her little brothers, they were so cute and so happy and that's why I can't understand how this could happen, they were all so happy and they were never mad or sad or anything."
The family lived in Lafitte for years, and had only been in the Brandi Street house for six months.
"This is like a total shock to the whole neighborhood, this whole area. And I was really surprised to see this many people turn out," neighbor Craig Bruad said.
They showed up to pray for the victims and offer support for Kelli Mata's two older daughters. It's the best thing one local pastor says, this devastated group, can do.
"We'll find peace eventually, it'll make sense eventually, we'll find comfort by being there for one another," the pastor said.
Friends of the family are setting up a go fund me account to help pay for the four funerals. According to our partners at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, the couple had been married since 2012.