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What we know so far about the Harrow, Ont., family of 4 found dead at home

Days after police found a family of four dead in their Harrow home, more is being learned about the parents and their two children as people in the southwestern Ontario town continue to mourn and honour them. 

The deaths came to light Thursday afternoon after Essex County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to the home on County Road 13. Police held a news conference on Friday, acknowledging the “unimaginable tragedy,” but released little information. They also said there was no threat to public safety.

As of Monday afternoon, they hadn’t provided any names or details about the circumstances of their deaths.

On the weekend, at a vigil, community members mourned the loss of the family and identified them as Carly and Steve Walsh, their daughter Madison, 13, and son, Hunter, 8.  

Harrow, near Lake Erie, is about a 45-minute drive south of Windsor.

Carly’s uncle, Glenn Stannard, a former Windsor police chief who attended the vigil, expressed the extended family’s gratitude to the community and thanked investigators. 

“The weeks ahead are going to be extremely difficult,” Stannard told the crowd.

The family lived at 1200 County Road 13. According to real estate records, Carly and Steve Walsh bought the property in 2009.

An aerial view of a rural home.
The Walsh family home at 1200 County Road 13 near Harrow, as seen via drone on June 21. (Ken Amlin/CBC)

The large lot has a house and a multi-vehicle garage that are hidden from the roadway by trees and foliage. 

Carly’s Facebook page identifies her as an assistant manager at Paglione Estate Winery, and a “mother, friend, worker” and “wife trying to run a easy homestead in the county.”

Two days before the deaths, she shared more than a dozen pics of her children participating in a Harrow Minor Soccer game. A photo album on her Facebook page is titled “What will 2024 bring!” and features celebratory images.

Madison and Hunter both attended St. Anthony Catholic Elementary School in Harrow. According to Carly’s Facebook page, they were heavily involved in soccer and enjoyed other sports, such as running and ice skating.

WATCH | Townspeople at vigil remember family of four found dead in Harrow:

‘There aren’t any real words:’ community grieves loss of Essex family members

10 hours ago

Duration 2:39

Community members participated in a vigil in Harrow on Sunday night after four family members were found dead in their home on Thursday.

In a post marking Madison’s 13th birthday in May, Carly wrote: “Can’t believe we have a teenager in the house.”

The vigil, held at a soccer field on Sunday, was organized by Carly’s friends, Treena Upcott, Victoria Cranston and Essex Mayor Sherry Bondy.

Upcott said Carly was involved at the Catholic school attended by her children, among other causes. 

Darrow Woods, the pastor at Harrow United Church who also attended the vigil, said: “We wish things were different. We may try to make sense of something that makes no sense.

People walk the track in the dusk
Hundreds walked the roughly one-kilometre track at the soccer field to remember the family at Sunday’s vigil. (Mike Evans/CBC)

“We have questions that I so wish I had answers [to]. I wish there were words I could say that would take away all of the confusion, and the pain and the loss.”

A child at the vigil who identified herself as “Madi’s best friend” expressed her love for the family, saying through tears. “I want them to fly high.”

As of Monday afternoon, funeral arrangements for the Walsh family had yet to be made.

‘We have to help each other’

Community fundraising for the family continues, with Essex Mayor Sherry Bondy saying the Harrow Rotary Club has been collecting donations to help with funeral costs.

Representatives of the Rotary Club will accept contributions at the Open Streets event in downtown Harrow on Friday, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET.

“In the midst of chaos, when things that aren’t supposed to happen, happen — we do what we can do,” Woods, the pastor, told the vigil.

“When the worst things happen, worse than we can possibly imagine … we have to encourage each other to be our best selves. We have to help each other. Every one of us needs to see that there is still lots of good in this world.”

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