School remembers children found dead in Abington home

The Zaccardi children.
The Zaccardi children. Facebook

ABINGTON — One day after a couple and their three young children were found dead here in their home, the crime scene still bore remnants of the unspeakable tragedy as residents wore green to honor the victims.

A memorial of flowers, stuffed animals, and a single candle was visible Tuesday outside the Centre Avenue condo complex where the victims were found dead from gunshot wounds. Authorities have said there’s no danger to the public.

Prosecutors have identified the victims as Deirdre Zaccardi, 40; Joseph Zaccardi, 43; and their three children — Alexis, 11; and 9-year-old twins, Nathaniel and Kathryn.


Strands of yellow police tape were still tied to a fence post near the residence.

Also Tuesday, a number of Abington residents wore green and posted green ribbons to social media in the family’s memory.

“Remember to wear your Abington green today in memory of the Abington family who lost their lives,” wrote Alex Hagerty, a member of the town Board of Health, in a Facebook posting Tuesday, ending his message with a green heart and the hashtag #AbingtonStrong.

Selectman Kevin DiMarzio was among the local officials who reacted to the news on Monday.

“A family lost their lives and our town is left with a hole in its heart,” DiMarzio wrote on Facebook. “When an event as devastating as today unfolds, it is up to us to help bring strength to the ones who need it most. Please join me in praying for the family of those lost and showing them what a great community we have through our compassion, strength and love. To the first responders who had to work through this event today, I want you to know that the community is thinking of you too, and will help in any way that we can. Tonight, please take a moment to be thankful for the family, community and blessings we have.”


The Abington Fire Department also released a statement on the tragedy Monday, through the Twitter account of the public information officer.

“AFD extends its deepest condolences to all affected by the unimaginable tragedy this morning,” the message said. “Abington is an amazingly strong community & know you’ll support each other in a way like no other in the days ahead. Our thoughts are w/ family, friends & the entire Abington community.”

Meanwhile, it was a somber day Tuesday at the Woodsdale School in Abington, where two of the Zaccardi children had been enrolled.

Woodsdale principal Jonathan Hawes said in a letter to families that staff planned to discuss the tragedy on Tuesday with students. The letter was posted to the Woodsdale website.

Hawes’s note came after authorities said the five members of the Zaccardi family were found shot to death Monday morning in their Centre Avenue home. Officials said there was no danger to the public. The investigation remains active.

“As you’re aware, the Woodsdale community experienced an unthinkable tragedy [Monday] with the death of two Woodsdale students,” Hawes wrote. “The information provided by media outlets can be disturbing and it is our recommendation that parents limit their exposure.”

Hawes wrote that on Tuesday, “the children will come to school with a wide variety of information as they process what has occurred. As such, we feel a sense of responsibility to have a conversation with all students here at the school.”


Hawes continued, “Our plan for [Tuesday] will be to acknowledge that there was a death of two of our students and to recognize the immense sadness surrounding this event. Students will be meeting with staff members in both classroom meetings and if needed, in small groups. We will validate any and all feelings that may be elicited and we will reinforce the message that they are safe here at school and that there is no danger.”

Hawes added that discussions will be conducted “with sensitivity and age-appropriate responses. Counseling services will be available for our students who need support throughout this difficult time.”

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.