Report: Children murdered before home explosion in Ohio

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Family found dead in home explosion. Credit: WJW

NORTHFIELD, Ohio – New details are being released about a home explosion that led authorities to four bodies inside an Ohio home.

Firefighters were called to the home on Jan. 11 after neighbors reported hearing an explosion and a large fire at the Northfield house.

Neighbors say they tried to rescue the family, but were overwhelmed by smoke before they could go inside the home.

Once inside, authorities found the bodies of two adults and two children.

The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the victims as 43-year-old Jeffrey Mather and 43-year-old Cynthia Mather. Neighbors say the children are 8-year-old Ruth and 12-year-old Alyson.

In February, officials learned that Jeffrey Mather was the only one who showed signs of smoke inhalation.

On Thursday, the medical examiner's office announced that the children had been murdered before the explosion.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office says Cynthia Mather also died before the fire, which was set by Jeffrey Mather.

The medical examiner's report shows that the children died of "probable inflicted asphyxia, according to WJW.

Cynthia Mather likely died of a Prozac overdose.

However, Jeffrey Mather died of burns, the report states. Investigators say he burned himself after using gasoline to set the home on fire.

"It is unclear which parent is responsible for the death of the two children or how the children were asphyxiated, and we will not speculate on the circumstances," the report states.

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