Stafford dad who ran away 18 months ago found dead with wife, children

STAFFORD, Va. – A family of four was discovered dead Thursday morning in the Windsor Forest subdivision, in what Stafford Sheriff’s Office described as a murder-suicide that stemmed from a domestic incident.

The deceased were identified as the Buckley family; 35-year-old Lance C. Buckley and his 30-year-old wife Amy. Their children were also found dead; a 5-year-old girl named Claire and an 17-month old girl named Abigail.

Lance Buckley contacted 911 to report three murders and a suicide on Wilderness Court and hung up the phone after he identified himself, according to Public Information Officer M.C. Morris Moncure.

Patrol units were dispatched immediately and dispatchers repeatedly called the residence. When deputies arrived, they entered and located four bodies in the lower level of the home.

Buckley family photo taken in 2015

Buckley family photo taken in 2015

Property records indicate that the home is owned by Lance's father, and neighbors said the homeowners have lived there 20 years. They also said the couple's son, his wife and their two children lived at the home.

Lance Buckley made headlines when disappeared for a few days in May 2015, just two weeks after the birth of his daughter.

He was eventually located at the Brunswick Family Campground, near Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. The campground is about one hour from the Washington D.C. and Baltimore beltways; it runs along the Potomac.

Lance Buckley using the ATM at Howard University on Tuesday morning, May 5 at 8:40 a.m. (PHOTO: Stafford County Sheriff’s Office)

Lance Buckley using the ATM at Howard University on Tuesday morning, May 5 at 8:40 a.m. (PHOTO: Stafford County Sheriff’s Office)

Buckley, a student at Howard University, visited campus the day he disappeared and was seen on camera withdrawing cash from an ATM. He was found with a tent at the campground after several tips were made to officers.

His wife Amy spoke with CBS 6 at the time. “Lance, I love you so much no matter what I just want you to come home,” she said at the time of his disappearance. “I just want you home, baby. I love you. You’re the love of my life.”

Family and friends comfort Amy Buckley when her husband disappeared.

Family and friends comfort Amy Buckley when her husband disappeared.

Domenic Scarca has known Amy Buckley's family for years, as a neighbor.

"I knew the Wetmore's since I moved here in 2002 and I didn't know that this happened," he said.  "She was...you know...number one a beautiful girl and also seemed to really have it together."

The principal of Rockhill Elementary School, where 5-year-old Claire Buckley attended, sent letters home to parents and students notifying of her passing. Grief counselors were on hand at the school also.

Early in the investigation law enforcement emphasized there was no threat to the public or killer at large. Stafford County Detectives are continuing the investigation.