Family speak out for first time after father and two teen daughters found dead in Elkhart home

Published: Dec. 21, 2020 at 7:35 PM EST
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - As emergency cleaning and restoration crews showed up to an Elkhart home Monday, loves ones are still struggling figure out how and why a father and his two teen daughters were found dead inside three days earlier.

“It’s just heartbreaking. However and why ever they aren’t here with us today is mind boggling. Why? There is always going to be that question of why...and how?”

The last time loved ones say they heard from 47-year-old Jeff Marvin and his two daughters, Lexis Marvin (18) and Haley Marvin (15), were through a text message on Sunday, December 13th. Wanting to remain anonymous, a close family member spoke out for the very first time explaining the very last time her family heard from Jeff.

“My husband spoke to Jeff through text on Sunday inviting him to Christmas, which we always did on Christmas Eve, and Jeff said yeah, I’ll be there,” a family member, who Jeff and his daughters spent most holidays with, told 16 News Now on Monday.

But after days of several phone calls and visits to the Marvin family home with no answer, police were called to carry out a welfare check on Friday, one that would change everything.

“He (my husband) said they’re all dead, they’re all dead. Out of the blue, this was out of the blue. Totally unlike him,” the anonymous family members says.

Though, what was clear was leading up to their deaths, family members says Jeff was in depression over his mother who passed away four years earlier, had been unemployed for nearly a year, was previously diagnosed with COVID-19, all while also caring for his two daughters, who he had full custody of since 2008, as a single father.

“These are life altering events whether you’re going to be around and what was going to happen to the girls. He was always concerned about the girls. They just were delightful young ladies. He was a single father, he was a single parent and he made sure they had whatever they needed,” the family member says.

While police have yet to make an official ruling on the investigation, this particular family member, who says she has been like a grandmother to Jeff’s children, does not believe his bumpy road to depression is the only thing to blame for what could have happened.

“Just in case they decide it was suicide, it had to be something really, really awful for him to do this. He was so concerned about the girls when he had gotten really sick. Will they go to their mom? Will they go to his sister? Something just had to be really, really wrong and he was just afraid for their future,” the family member says.

Despite the possibility of never knowing what truly happened to the Marvin family and why, loved ones say what will hurt them most is realizing Jeff, Lexis and Haley are never coming back.

“Even my husband, even now he’s like I won’t have to stretch out the table come Christmas Eve. They won’t be here. It’s just not fair. Whatever happened, it’s just not fair,” the family member said while tears came balling down from her eyes.

Autopsies were conducted Monday morning, but investigators have yet to release any information as it pertains to the investigation. Stick with 16 News Now on-air and online as we continue to follow this developing story.

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