Dad Suspected in Gruesome Christmas Family Murder Suicide
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Credit: New York Daily News    

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Dad Suspected in Gruesome Christmas Family Murder Suicide

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It was anything but a merry Christmas for an Edgewater, New Jersey family after a man allegedly shot and killed his wife and eight-year-old daughter before turning the gun on himself. 

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According to police investigators, 53-year-old Michael Stasko, a salesman who sold custom-made watches to police officers and their supporters, shot his wife Melissa Stasko, 49, as well as their daughter, Nellie, while they were sleeping. He then killed himself, using the same.45-caliber handgun loaded with hollow-point bullets.

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Credit: New York Daily News    

The murder is believed to have taken place sometime between Tuesday, December 22 and Wednesday, December 23. Investigators only discovered the bodies when Melissa's brother contacted local authorities after the family didn't show up to his home in Missouri for the holidays and he was unable to reach them by phone.

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In addition to the gruesome scene, police also found a decorated Christmas tree with presents piled underneath, as well as Christmas cards, including some from Nellie to her father. 

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Credit: New York Daily News    

"We don't know what perhaps was going through Mr. Stasko’s mind for him to do this," says Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli. 

We're hoping that the police can find a clear motive behind this tragedy, so they can prevent something similar from ever happening again. Our thoughts go out to the Stasko family's relatives and friends during this awful time.