As authorities continue to investigate why a NJ man fatally shot his wife and eight-year-old daughter before killing himself, his wife's family is reeling. An aunt of Melisa Stasko, Nancy Hunter, told the Record that Michael Stasko was abusive, "mentally unstable” and “never seeked help.”

Hunter said, "Melisa had parents, a great grandmother, uncles, aunts, cousins and brothers who loved her and [daughter] Mellie dearly. All of us are devastated by their murders and will never understand how a husband and father could do this."

The bodies of Michael, Melisa and Mellie Stasko were found in their luxury Edgewater apartment on Christmas Day. Melisa's and Mellie's bodies were found under the covers in the couple's bedroom, with gunshots in the backs of their heads. They may have been cowering when Michael Stasko shot them. Michael Stasko's body was found with a gunshot wound under his chin.

They could have been killed on Tuesday, which was Mellie's eighth birthday. Melisa Stasko's brother called the police on Friday when they hadn't arrived in Missouri for holiday celebrations.

The AP reports, "Investigators also found a .45-caliber handgun with hollow-point bullets. 'Right now there does not appear to be any New Jersey firearm purchaser authorization for the weapon. But it should be noted that the Staskos just moved here within the last few years from New York. So it is possible that the weapon may have been obtained in New York and brought here,' said [Bergen County Prosecutor John] Molinelli."

Molinelli also said that, at first glance, there didn't seem to be any financial difficulties in the family.

Melisa Stasko, 49, had survived breast cancer, while Michael Stasko, 53, "came to the United States from a German refugee camp in 1986," his ex-girlfriend Alena Kesl told the NY Post. She said, "They were very good. Melissa was very friendly.... She was in remission from breast cancer."

Kesl and her son lived with Stasko in Colorado. John Kesl said, "Back when we lived in Colorado he had a gun.   and I asked him if he still had it, and he said no."

The doorman at the Mariner's Tower building told the Post, "They go apple picking on the weekend. They would come back, give me fruits, high five. It was shocking to me, for a family like that, there were no signs of anything. There were never any arguments, not that I seen."

The Edgewater school district superintendent, Kerry Postma, released a letter to families, "Words are not coming easily at this difficult time. We are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic and senseless loss of our dear second-grade student Mellie Stasko. Our prayers are with the family, and with our community," detailing how grief counselors would be available to students this week.