MCSO: Multiple bodies found inside Gilbert home

A heartbreaking loss in the east valley: a mother and her two children were found dead in a home.

All three were shot and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office believes the mother was the shooter.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Tuesday his deputies believe the deaths were a murder-suicide, but are awaiting autopsy results. He identified the woman during a news conference as Lisa Gerhart, saying she was 45 or 46. Her son was 17, and her daughter was 12.

Arpaio says deputies found a handgun near the woman's body.

Detectives were seen taking photos and searching cars parked outside the custom-built, A-frame home off a dirt road near Chandler Heights and Recker Roads. The area is in an unincorporated area just west of Power Road.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Courtney Palma said deputies responded about 9 p.m. Monday to the home and reported finding the bodies.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.