Police officers stand in front of a house that was the scene of a multiple murder in Calgary, Wednesday, May 28, 2008.
Police investigators in Calgary will spend Thursday trying to figure out who killed three adults and two little girls in an upscale neighbourhood in the city's northwest.
A family acquaintance arrived at the home Wednesday morning and found the bodies of two young girls, ages four and six, and three adults in their thirties.
Only one person remained alive in the house -- the one-year-old girl whose crying prompted the acquaintance to venture inside.
Police are calling the deaths a "domestic homicide," although they have not released further details of how the occupants died.
Their bodies, found scattered throughout various rooms of the house, were removed Wednesday night around 10 p.m., said CTV Calgary's Bill Marks, reporting from the scene Thursday morning.
"The most pressing (question) seems to be why was the one-year-old little girl spared and who among the dead was responsible for the killing spree," Marks said in an interview on CTV's Canada AM.
"One of the many questions that may never be answered is 'why.'"
Calgary police chief Rick Hanson said Thursday that investigators will be trying to piece together what happened in the days and hours before the murder and also trying to determine whether anything could have been done to prevent the deaths.
Police had not been called to the house for any previous domestic incidents.
Neighbours described the father of the children as "loving" and said he was studying to be an architect. The children's mother has been on maternity leave from her job as an occupational therapist.
"They were a warm and caring family," neighbour Jerry Hauge said Thursday. "They really cared about each other and all the neighbours up and down the street."
Appearing on Canada AM, Hauge is the president of the Dalhousie Community Association, which houses a kindergarten program that was attended by one of the slain children. He said the father would often offer help on architectural matters to the association.
He said area resident are still in shock.
"We were out on the streets talking to one another and supporting one another," he added.
Police believe the third adult found in the house was a tenant.
The one-year-old girl is being cared for by social services while authorities try to find members of her extended family.
Many of the officials who dealt with the crime scene have sought counselling. Some are referring to the deaths as Calgary's worst mass murder in 20 years, said Marks.