Troy, NY - The bodies of a same-sex couple and two children were found in a basement apartment on Tuesday afternoon.
"After being in this business for 43 years, I can't describe the savagery of a person who would do this," said Troy Police Chief John Tedesco.
The chief said that the murders were not "a random crime," but would not say why he believed that during a press conference.
"I don't think there's any doubt that a person who committed this crime is capable of anything," Chief Tedesco said.
On Dec. 26, a property manager was asked to check on the welfare of the residents in the apartment located at 158 Second Avenue.
He found four people dead, including two children.
On Thursday, police identified the victims as Shanta Myers, 36, Brandi Mells, 22, Jeremiah Myers, 11, and Shanise Myers, 5.
Shanta Myers was the mother of both children, and was in a relationship with Mells, Chief Tedesco said.
Detectives would not confirm the manner of death, nor any details regarding the crime scene.
The chief said that the apartment was not a "problem property," and was not known to officers prior to this incident.
The New York State Police and New York parole officials were assisting the Troy Police Department in the ongoing investigation, according to Chief Tedesco.
Police were not yet sure when the murders occurred but have said that there was no imminent danger to the public.
The chief said that autopsies were performed on Wednesday, and he hoped the results would provide clues.
"This will be a full-court press, if you will, until we bring someone to justice," Chief Tedesco said.
Police have not yet identified a person of interest in the case.
"This heinous atrocity is unimaginable, incomprehensible. I believe it affects the whole community," said Rev. Jackie Robinson, pastor of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Troy, who did not know the family.
"Kids are traumatized. A lot of adults are traumatized too, because this monster is still out there,” Robinson said.
Anyone with information about the murders has been asked to call 518-270-4421.