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Father, 3 children found slain in Rostraver

| Thursday, May 3, 2012, 11:50 p.m.

A father and his three young children were found dead, apparently of gunshot wounds, in their house Sunday in Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County.

Daniel Lee Riley, 39, and his children, Kate, 8, Michael, 6, and Julia, 4, were discovered dead in their home in the 300 block of Mohawk Drive, Belle Vernon, at about 6:30 p.m., Rostraver police Chief Greg Resetar said.

Resetar said a family member who discovered the bodies reported that all four appeared to have suffered gunshot wounds, but the cause and manner of death was pending autopsies and further investigation.

Police said Daniel Riley shared custody of the three children with their mother, whom he did not identify.

The mother, who lives elsewhere, went to Daniel Riley's house around 6 p.m. to pick up the children after a weekend visit with their father. Resetar said the woman summoned another relative, whom he did not identify, when she could not get inside the house.

The relative discovered the four victims in an upstairs bedroom of the home, which sits in a section of the neighborhood with several recently constructed homes.

Coroner Ken Bacha said autopsies to determine the time and cause of death were scheduled for today. Police were seeking a search warrant last night for the house.

Resetar said he has never before handled an investigation in which three children had died.

"I've never dealt with anything like this," Resetar said. "This is one of the most difficult ones I've ever known."

Bacha said it is always difficult handling the deaths of children, but having "three at one time makes it exponential."

According to Westmoreland County real property tax records, the house where the Rileys was discovered is owned by Daniel L. and Felicia L. Riley.

Neighbors said the couple had resided in the house for only a short time.

As temperatures dipped into the single digits, a few neighbors peered through their windows at police cars, ambulances and television news trucks parked outside Riley's house.

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