A family of six, including four small children ages 11 months to 4-years, were found dead at their home in San Antonio, Texas. Police say it does not look like an accident.
According to San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, police responded to a call for a wellness check at about 10:30 am on Thursday after the man who lived at the home did not call in to report to work. He’d been working from home and was a member of the military, though McManus declined to say which branch.
When police got to the residence at 106 Red Willow, there was a note taped to the door. McManus described the note as “cryptic” and the language as military jargon. There were bodies, the note said. There were people inside, do not enter… there are animals are in the freezer, it said.
The smell of carbon monoxide was so strong officers who responded had to walk away from the home and call EMS to be cleared of any injuries from the fumes.
Police sent in a robot and drones due to the smell, and the video that technology caught made police think the house was rigged or booby-trapped with possible explosives, McManus said.
Police evacuated a 150 perimeter around the home, but somehow an alert call went out far outside of the area for people to evacuate, causing confusion for people who were nowhere near the site of the murder-suicide.
Police Found the Bodies of a Man, a Woman, 4 Small Children & 2 Cats in an SUV in the Garage
When police finally got into the home through garage they discovered what looked like a family of six, including a man and woman and four children in the back of a small SUV, the police chief said. There were two dead cats in a basket in the front of the vehicle. No explosives were found at the house.
Of the scene, McManus said, “It’s the whole picture, adults, children, pets, it’s…. it’s…saying it’s not pretty…there are no words to describe it.”
According to the chief, they are only at the beginning of the investigation as to what happened — and why. He said the family had moved to the home on Red Willow in a Far North Side Subdivision in January. Neighbors rarely saw them. Police were called to the home one time but McManus did not say what the call was for. He also didn’t know where the family was from.
What he did say was this appeared to be a suicide situation. There will be a lot of “combing through the house” for any evidence of what happened, McManus said.
One thing he did know, that the family was alive Wednesday, or at least the man was because he had called into work.
Research on Family Annihilation Shows the Men Involved Seem to Be Good Providers & Devoted Fathers and Husbands
Familicide or Family Annihilation is when someone kills their entire family and often themselves. While this case still has many unanswered questions, according to research on familicide, it is typically the man in the family that is the perpetrator, and the man is someone no one would expect to be capable of such a heinous act.
According to Crime Traveller, the typical profile of a man who kills his family “is a middle-aged man, a good provider who would appear to neighbors to be a dedicated husband and a devoted father.” He would likely not have a police record and would have a good job and friends.
In 15% of cases from a study done on familicides looking at cases over a 32-year span, the cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning, Crime Traveller reported. They wrote that the four most common possible causes identified for family annihilation were “a breakdown in the family relationship and issues surrounding access to children, money worries and financial hardship, cultural honor killings and mental illness.”