Fire engines and flashing police lights woke residents in a Northeast Memphis neighborhood just after midnight Tuesday morning.
"My wife called and said 'Melvin there are police everywhere, fires are going on,'" said resident Melvin Jones.
Police were responding to a call that a home on Whitten Grove was on fire. The call came from someone who had stopped by to check on the family living there.
"(The neighbor) noticed the house, the interior of the house, was in flames," said Memphis Police spokesperson Sgt. Vince Higgins. "They went in and found three victims and pulled them into the garage."
All three were already dead. Police said a woman and her adult son appear to have been beaten to death. Police wouldn't say how the woman's husband died, but said he appeared to be the last to die.
Police said they had been called to the house a few weeks ago, when a man called to report his wife missing. Before a formal report could be filed, she returned.
Investigators think the fire may have been set to cover up the murders of the woman and her son, but are not yet calling the situation a murder/suicide.