A mother and her two young children have been found dead inside their New York City home just hours after the children's father was picked up by authorities while wandering along a highway, according to the NYPD.
Emergency dispatchers received a 911 call detailing an assault in progress at a Staten Island home about 10:30 a.m. Saturday, NYPD Assistant Chief Kenneth Corey said in a statement. When officers arrived, the home was filled with smoke, and the bodies of the 36-year-old mother and her children, ages 3 and 2, were discovered by firefighters after their extinguished the small fire, Corey said.
The mother's body was lying on a bed face down, ABC New York station WABC reported.
Authorities had picked up a 36-year-old man believed to be the children's father at 7:48 a.m. while he was walking along the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and transported him to the hospital for evaluation, Corey said.
He underwent a psychological evaluation at the hospital, according to WABC.
The mother, whose name has not been released by authorities, was an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force, WABC reported. The 911 call was placed by one of her coworkers, according to the station.
The father, whose identity has not been made public, was also a member of the military, neighbor Rod Hamed, told WABC. He describing him as a "nice guy," the station reported.
The case is being treated as a homicide, Corey said. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death.
Police did not identify the children, either.
The father has not been charged but is being considered a person of interest, according to WABC.
Police had been called to the home once before for a domestic dispute, the station reported.
Additional details were not immediately available.