What we know about Dover family dead in apparent domestic violence incident

The community around a family found slain at their home in Dover, Massachusetts, was beginning to come to terms with their deaths on Friday, though much about what happened remained under investigation.

The Kamal family’s home, at the end of a private road lined with large homes, was decorated festively for Christmas on Friday, a day after the bodies of Arianna, 18; Teena; 54; and Rakesh, 57, were found there by a relative.

A sign outside on Wilson’s Way welcomed visitors to Enchanted Acres. Another sign read Kamals, under an image of a horse’s head.

Outside the home of the Kamal family on Friday, Dec. 29, 2023, a day after all three — Arianna, Teena and Rakesh — were found dead.
Packages outside the Kamals’ Dover, Massachusetts, home.

Arianna Kamal was a Middlebury College student, Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey said at a news conference as he identified the family, and the prestigious Milton Academy released a statement confirming that she had graduated from the school this summer and “was a sweet, smart, kind young woman who was just beginning to realize her full potential.”

Her mother, Teena, was involved in the school as well, according to the statement — she served as head of the upper school’s parents association, and “was a committed and caring advocate for both parents and students at Milton.”

“Milton Academy is heartbroken to learn of the death of Arianna Kamal, a recent graduate of the class of 2023, as well as the deaths of her parents, Rakesh Kamal and Teena Kamal. Our thoughts are with all members of the Kamal family, their friends and our entire school community,” the full statement said. “Aria was a sweet, smart, kind young woman who was just beginning to realize her full potential. Her mother, Teena, who served as president of our Upper School Parents’ Association, was a committed and caring advocate for both parents and students at Milton. This is a devastating loss to our community. We are making counseling and grief support available to students, parents and faculty who may need support as they process this incredibly sad news.”

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In a message to the school community, Middlebury College President Laurie Patton and Vice President for Student Affairs Smita Ruzicka said support resources are available during winter break.

“Once we return from the break, we will work with Aria’s friends and possibly with her extended family to plan an appropriate remembrance. We will share details once they become available,” the message read. “We know that this news will be difficult for those who knew Aria, those with experiences of domestic violence, those grieving other losses, and for our whole community.”

Teena Kamal was also on the regional board of directors of the American Red Cross of Massachusetts, a representative confirmed Friday, calling what happened a deeply saddening tragedy.

“Our hearts go out to their loved ones during this devastating time,” the Red Cross statement said.

It’s not immediately clear how the three family members died. Morrissey said Friday morning that the medical examiner’s office was investigating that, though he did say a gun was found by Rakesh Kamal’s body. He also said there was no apparent threat to the community after what appeared to be a case of domestic violence.

“There was no sign of any kind of a break in,” Morrissey told reporters, adding, “I’m led to believe that it’s safe to tell you it’s probably a domestic issue incident.”

There were no other members in the immediate Kamal family, according to Morrissey, but he said they had family both in the area and abroad.

While the investigation was ongoing, Morrissey reiterated that the deaths appeared to be the result of domestic violence. He noted that Massachusetts has a domestic violence hotline at 877-785-2020.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), visiting www.thehotline.org or texting LOVEIS to 22522.

Dover police responded to the residence on Wilson’s Way around 7:30 p.m. Thursday after receiving a 7:24 p.m. 911 call from a family member who had stopped by to check on the family, according to the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office. The family member, who lives in the area, hadn’t heard from the Kamals in one or two days.

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Morrissey said it’s the second death investigation he’s done in Dover since he became district attorney — the other was in 2020. His message to Dover residents was, “Say a prayer and their hearts should go out to the entire Kamal family, and they should feel safe.”