Va. police probe quadruple-homicide in port city

August 19, 2011 - 11:30 PM

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — Police in Virginia are investigating as a quadruple homicide the deaths of a mother and her three children in a Newport News apartment where a fire was reported earlier Friday.

The Daily Press (http://bit.ly/n5jVRt ) reports that police were called to the family's home at 2:26 p.m. Friday after someone reported smelling smoke. Newport News police spokesman Harold Eley said a maintenance worker went inside and found a body.

Police said a teenage girl was burned beyond recognition, and that the other three victims had physical trauma to their bodies.

WAVY-TV (http://bit.ly/qM5nQA ) reported that a man and a young child were missing from the home, but that the 5-year-old boy was located Friday evening with family members in South Carolina.

Police on Friday issued an alert for the woman's husband, 36-year-old John Moses Ragin, who was driving a black Saturn.

Investigators are still trying to determine when the family was killed and how they died.