Girl, 14, dead in apparent murder-suicide involving father, police say

Ava Wood (Baldwinsville School District)
Ava Wood (Baldwinsville School District)

A 14-year-old girl and her father were found shot dead at a home in upstate New York after an apparent murder-suicide, according to authorities.

Baldwinsville Police discovered the bodies of Ava Wood and her father, 51-year-old Christopher Wood, when the teenager’s mother called them to do a Friday morning wellness check.

Investigators say that both appeared to have died from gunshot wounds, with Christopher Wood’s appearing to be self-inflicted.

The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office says that they were both found in separate bedrooms, with Ava discovered on her bed, according to,

“The gunshot to Mr Wood does appear to be self-inflicted, so, while obviously the medical examiner and Sheriff Shelley’s Criminal Investigation Unit need to complete their investigation. Based upon their initial review of the scene, it would appear that that is a likely outcome of this investigation,” Baldwinsville Police Chief, Michael Lefancheck told WSYR-TV.

He added: “It’s difficult, to say the least. It’s not an easy scene for either of us to witness. Both the sheriff and I have been in law enforcement for a long time and to have to walk through a scene like that is not an easy thing to d

Police say that Mr Wood and his wife were still married but “estranged” and living apart at the time of the shocking incident.

Onondaga County Sheriff Tobias Shelley told reporters that they had been called to two incidents involving Ava Wood’s parents in March 2022 and just days ago on 18 January 2023.

“They did involve violence, one was a stalking incident and the other was an alleged aggravated harassment incident,” said Sheriff Shelley.

Ava Wood was a ninth-grade student at Durgee Junior High School, in Baldwinsville.

“It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart that I inform you of the tragic loss of Durgee J. High School 9th grade student Ava Wood,” the Baldwinsville school district said in an email to parents and staff. “We are a close-knit school community and our hearts are broken by this tragedy. Our thoughts are with Ava’s family and friends during this extremely difficult time.”