A triple-homicide in Florida is being investigated as a "ritual killing" with possible ties to the recent blue moon, police say.
The bodies of Richard Smith, 49, John Smith, 47, and their mother, Voncile Smith, 77, were found on July 31 inside their home in Pensacola, NBC News reports.
Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said on Tuesday that initial research has led police to believe that the killings were "ritualistic."
"The method of the murder — blunt force trauma, slit throats, positioning of bodies — and our person of interest has some ties to a faith or religion that is indicative of that," Morgan said.
Police believe the killings occurred on July 28, three days before the July 31 blue moon. A "blue" moon refers to the second of two full moons occurring in a single calendar month.
The sheriff said the two events "coincide" and did not explain the date discrepancy, the Associated Press reports.
There was no indication of forced entry into the home, Morgan said, according to The Pensacola News-Journal. Police believe the person of interest is someone who was known to the family.
The investigation is ongoing.
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