Man, teenage sons die in apparent murder-suicide
CHULA VISTA (CNS) – Crews extinguishing a suspected arson fire that engulfed a South Bay home early Tuesday found the bodies of a man and his two teenage sons, the apparent victims of the third domestic murder-suicide within a month in San Diego County.
The blaze in the 3600 block of Bonita Verde Drive in Chula Vista was reported shortly after 1:30 a.m., according to police.
While dousing the flames, firefighters found a dead man in a hallway and the bodies of two boys in separate bedrooms, Lt. Lon Turner said. All three appeared to have been fatally shot, apparently with a pistol, and investigators found notes suggesting the deaths were a case of murder-suicide and that the home had been torched, the lieutenant said.
The names of the deceased were withheld pending family notification.
Reportedly, the man was divorced, was in danger of losing his home and was in a dispute with his ex-wife over custody of their sons, ages 13 and 15.
Neighbors told reporters they'd seen the man and his sons playing basketball in front of their home on Monday.
Two other San Diego-area families recently fell victim to apparent murder-suicides.
Three weeks ago, the estranged boyfriend of a Chula Vista schoolteacher fatally choked and bludgeoned her and her two young children at their home before leaping to his death from a Spring Valley freeway bridge, according to police.
On May 24, a Skyline family of four was found dead at their rented house — the father and two girls in a backyard swimming pool, and the mother in a bathtub.
Evidence at the Parkcreek Court residence and interviews with relatives provided “strong evidence” that the deaths were a case of murder-suicide, according to San Diego police, who said notes left at the scene suggested both parents took part in the crime.
Final rulings on precisely how the family died remain on hold pending completion of postmortem toxicology tests.