New details released on family death investigation in West Des Moines

Local News

WEST DES MOINES – Investigators are still trying to figure out how four people died inside of home early Saturday morning. 

We’ve since learned the identities of those four people: A 10-year-old and 15-year-old boy, Lavanya Sunkara, 41 and Chandrasekhar Sunkara, 44. 

The Iowa Department of Public Safety confirmed on Sunday that Chandrasekhar worked for them in their Technology Services Bureau. Those four people weren’t the only ones in the house, according to the West Des Moines Police Department.

Both of the boys were students in the Waukee Community School District.

Neighbors say ambulances and police cars began pouring into the neighborhood, and re-routing traffic. 

“They said it was a crime scene and I didn’t know the severity of it until I spoke with neighbors who had been there,” said Karl Wolle, a neighbor.

“Our focus here is to make sure that we hold the scene to make sure that the evidence that can be collected is,” said Sgt. Dan Wade of the West Des Moines Police Department.

Police say someone ran out of the home, before finding someone out for a walk to call 911. More than 24 hours later, that caution tape still surrounds the entire home.

“I’m not going to move or anything,” said Wolle. “I still think this is a safe neighborhood, but the guy just snapped.”

A police car sits out front as investigators continue to piece together how this all happened.

“All evidence indicates that there is no ongoing threat to the public,” said Wade.

While neighbors are still in shock, they’re concerned about those who witnessed this. 

“I don’t think it rattles my sense of safety, but it’s just very unfortunate that stuff like that would happen. I mean, it could happen anywhere,” said Wolle.

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