ARLINGTON — A mother, father, and their year-old twin boys were found dead in their home Monday, a discovery that unnerved a quiet suburban neighborhood filled with young families.
Authorities said that the family died violently and that the couple had been planning to divorce.
They identified the family as Scott Jones and Mei Kum Jones, both 43, and their sons, Colt and Cameron. The boys would have turned 1 Nov. 26. Mei Kum Jones worked for a Boston-based not-for-profit organization and listed herself as a Bentley University graduate.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan described the deaths as a “very troubling, very tragic situation,” but assured the public there was no threat to public safety.
“We’re not looking for anybody at this point,” she said.
Authorities would not address how the family died or what weapons may have been used. They said they would await autopsy results to determine the cause of death.
The bodies were found inside the family’s Newland Road home a few minutes after noon by a police officer who had been asked to check on the family, who neighbors said had been living in the beige three-story building for a few years.
Police Chief Frederick Ryan said police were asked by a children’s caretaker to check the home. The district attorney said another resident in the multifamily home had alerted authorities.
A neighbor said police responded to the house two years ago when Scott Jones threatened to kill himself. A law enforcement official with knowledge of the incident confirmed that account.
“There were signs of trouble,” said Clare MacFarlane, whose mother lives next door to the family’s home. Yet when she saw the family last week, they seemed happy, she said.
“I’m horrified. I’m horrified,” she said. “Those poor babies.”
Neighbors said Mei Kum Jones was a shy woman who was very attentive to the children and was often seen walking them in a stroller. They described Scott Jones as a compulsive type who spent long hours working on his yard and home-improvement projects. Almost as soon as he planted flowers, he would pull them up and replace them with new ones, neighbors said. He was known to vacuum debris from the front walk.
“He seemed fairly obsessed,” said James Brooks, 45.
Paula Trebino, whose late father-in-law lived across the street, said Scott Jones would shovel her father-in-law’s walkway without being asked.
“He was just very fastidious about everything on the property,” she said. “He was always out working on the yard.”
Trebino said Scott Jones often asked her husband, a contractor, about construction work.
Trebino said she had no inkling that anything was wrong with the family and was shocked to learn of the deaths.
Mei Kum Jones worked for Road Scholar, a not-for-profit educational travel organization based in Boston. In a January press release about the company, she was described as director of customer relationship management.
In a statement issued Monday night, Road Scholar said the organization’s workers grieved the loss of their colleague.
“Mei was a valued member of our team, and her loss is deeply felt by all of us,” the statement read. “As we grieve together, we can only imagine the impossible loss Mei’s family must bear, and our deepest sympathies are with them.”
On her Facebook page and other social media posts, Mei Kum Jones described herself as a fitness buff who liked yoga, books, movies, and taking long walks. She listed herself as a graduate of Bentley University.
Online, she posted photos of her children tucked into Christmas pajamas and other baby clothes, a wide smile on her face.
Mei Kum Jones was previously married from 2000 to 2004, court records show. The couple had no children. Her former husband, who did not know what had happened Monday and asked not to be named, described her as a kind person with a background in computer software. The last he had heard, he said, she was happy.
“She was a very sweet, wonderful person,” he said. “I can’t imagine anyone wanting to do her any harm.”
Mei Kum Jones’s brother, Ben Li, said in an interview with Boston’s WBZ-TV that his sister and Scott Jones had recent marital problems.
“I think he just moved out a couple of days ago, and I think she’s going through the motion of the divorce,” Li told the station.
He called his sister “a great person, a loving mom, a loving, caring person.”
Beyond neighbors’ accounts, few other details were immediately available about Scott Jones. He had previously lived in Revere, where investigators Monday met with his former wife.
Neighbors said they had two children together, and that they had separated several years ago.
A news report from 2007 indicated that a Scott Jones who lived at that address had been charged with driving under the influence.
Through the day, about two dozen neighbors gathered outside the Jones family’s Arlington home, watching investigators shuttle in and out the house.
Amy Iannelli, 74, a retired cleaning lady who lives a few houses away, said the neighborhood was peaceful.
“I am heartsick to think that kids — ” she said, unable to finish her sentence. “It’s heartbreaking.”
globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globepete.