Relatives say slain family in northern Alberta was troubled over finances

The father of a nine-year-old girl killed along with her mother and grandparents in what appears to be a murder-suicide says the family was having financial difficulties.

SMITH — The father of a nine-year-old girl killed along with her mother and grandparents in what appears to be a murder-suicide says the family was having financial difficulties.

The man told CTV Edmonton on Monday that he saw trouble coming at the home and believes a gun was used in the killings.

RCMP were called to a rural residence near Smith, Alta., 200 kilometres north of Edmonton, on Sunday after receiving a phone tip.

They found four bodies in the residence and although they are calling it a homicide, they say they are not searching for any suspects.

Local pastor Joe Mrak said he is close with the family and drove the school bus that took the young girl to school everyday.

He called the little girl was intelligent and kind.

“She was part of the children’s clubs and Sunday schools and all that stuff so it hits really close to home,” he said.

The church and community is now offering support to the father and the young victim’s 12-year-old brother.

“It’s devastating to the community,” said Mrak, who explained that the father and the children’s mother were separated and took turns rotating custody of their son and daughter.

“Right now, he’s hanging in,” Mrak said of the father. “We really don’t know how our emotions are going to play out in the next few days.”

The father lives across the road from the scene of the slaying, said Mrak.

Mounties have said that there was no known history of violence in the home.

“Slave Lake RCMP have not had any calls of a domestic violent nature involving any of the people or the property involved,” said Oakes.

The bodies have now been sent to the medical examiner’s office for autopsies. RCMP have not commented on the possible cause of death.

The victim’s names have yet to be released.

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