What to Know
- A man involved in a custody dispute killed his 7-year-old daughter then himself inside a Manayunk home, Philadelphia police say.
- The girl's stepfather discovered the bodies Monday morning in the Wilde Street home after the girl wasn't returned to her mom Sunday night.
- Responding officers called it one of the worst scenes they've ever walked into.
A man found his 7-year-old stepdaughter and her father dead after an apparent murder-suicide inside a home in Philadelphia’s Manayunk neighborhood Monday morning.
Philadelphia police were called to the home on the 4500 block of Wilde Street, near Green Lane, just before 11 a.m. They found the girl dead in the living room and her 45-year-old father dead in a second-floor bedroom, police said.
Responding officers called it one of the worst scenes they've ever walked into.
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"This is your absolute worst-case scenario," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector James Kelly said. "This is terrible. It should never happen but unfortunately here we are."
Edgewood Elementary School principal Stephanie Hultquist identified the girl as Kayden Mancuso in a letter to school families at the Pennsbury School District.
"We will keep Kayden close in our hearts," Hultquist wrote.
Mancuso was set to begin the second grade at Edgewood this fall, Hultquist said. The school would be open for counseling for parents and students from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. And, counseling will be available when the school year begins.
Neighbors told NBC10 they saw the man and his daughter around but never thought the girl was in danger.
"I never saw signs of him being violent, nothing like that," Noah Cook said. "That's why this is so shocking."
The girl's mother and father had been in a contentious custody battle, investigators said. Kayden was dropped off Saturday and was supposed to be returned to her mother Sunday night.
"He was telling me awhile back that he had a custody problem with the daughter's mother and this and that," Mary Lou Crompton, another neighbor, said.
The father left a note though police have not revealed what it said.
SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: Here is information on suicide prevention from the National Institute of Mental Health. If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting ‘Home’ to 741741.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HELP: The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or 800-787-3224 (TTY) provides people in distress, or those around them, with 24-hour support.