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4 people found dead in southwestern Ontario town of Harrow

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Ontario Provincial Police are investigating after four people were found dead in the town of Harrow, just south of Windsor.

Essex OPP officers were called to a residence on County Road 13 at approximately 1:30 p.m. on June 20, where they located four deceased individuals.

While the cause of death and their identities cannot yet be confirmed, investigators believe there is no imminent threat to public safety, although the OPP reminds all members of the public to be aware of their personal safety at all times. Essex mayor Sherry Bondy says the victims were a man, woman and two children.OPP officers are investigating four deaths in Harrow, Ont., on Thursday, June 20, 2024. (Bob Bellacicco/CTV News Windsor)

West Region media relations coordinator Derek Rogers tells CTV News says they can’t divulge many details of the case while it’s under investigation.

“It’s a tragic event,” says Rogers. “Death investigations affect officers, they affect the community at large. This family has been profoundly affected.”

Postmortem examinations will be conducted at the Centre of Forensic Sciences in London.

The investigation by the Essex County OPP Crime Unit is continuing under the direction of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch, with assistance from OPP Forensic Identification Services, and in conjunction with the Office of the Chief Coroner and the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service.OPP officers are investigating four deaths in Harrow, Ont., on Thursday, June 20, 2024. (Bob Bellacicco/CTV News Windsor)

Residents of the area should expect to see a large police presence for the next several days.

Community in mourning

The flags are lowered at municipal buildings in Essex, Colchester and Harrow to honour the lives lost.Flags at municipal buildings are lowered in Harrow, Colchester and Essex, Ont., on Friday, June 21, 2024. (Bob Bellacicco/CTV News Windsor)

“I couldn’t imagine it. I’m in a fog,” said Bondy.

Bondy says she was shocked when she heard the news from OPP.

“This is a human tragedy, nothing can prepare you for something like this,” says Bondy.

Bondy says the community is mourning after hearing that a father, mother and two children have died.

“Harrow is really tight. Almost everybody knows everybody, so our whole community our hearts are broken especially when you hear children are involved,”

Bondy says the family was active in the community and the town is doing what it can to help residents deal with the incident.

“This is a conversation I never thought I’d have to have with my children is somebody that you knew is no longer here due to an act of violence like this in the family,” says Bondy.

Bondy says other things the town has had to deal with pale in comparison to this tragedy.

“2023 was the year of storms, natural disasters, but I’ll take a natural disaster over this any day,” she says.

Bondy posted on her Facebook page Friday that “In light of the recent tragic event that occurred in Harrow, the Town of Essex is encouraging any individuals in need of support to contact the Canadian Mental Health Association.”

Police say any person with information regarding this investigation should contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or www.ontariocrimestoppers.ca.

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