EDGEWATER - The community of Edgewater is in mourning over the loss of an 8-year-old girl and her mother who were killed in an apparent murder-suicide.

According to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Michael Stasko, 53, fatally shot his wife, Melissa, and their daughter, Mellie. Stasko then took his own life, officials say. The bodies were discovered Christmas night after Stasko's brother-in-law called Edgewater police when the three failed to show up at his home in Missouri.

A motive for the shooting has not yet been released. On Monday, grief counselors were available at Edgewater schools to help Mellie Stasko’s classmates deal with the loss.

Anna Crosby, who runs an after-school program Mellie attended, says that she’s been in contact with the Edgewater schools superintendent’s office on how to tell the children about the tragedy.

"Especially the kids who are closer to Mellie, or her classmates, they have to be talked to separately so I'll do my best,” Crosby says.

Although Edgewater schools are on winter break, grief counselors are currently available. They will also be available once school is back in session.