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Grandmother's gun used in murder-suicide

She was shot to death, as were her daughter and two grandchildren, in an upscale San Clemente house. Police say it could be weeks before they know who did the shooting.

December 17, 2009|By Ruben Vives
  • Julia, 2, left, and Catherine Fontaine, 4, were shot to death with their mother and grandmother in an upscale home in San Clemente. They were from Houston.
Julia, 2, left, and Catherine Fontaine, 4, were shot to death with their… (Associated Press )

A revolver used in a San Clemente murder-suicide this week belonged to the 67-year-old woman who died along with her daughter and her two young grandchildren, authorities said Wednesday.

But detectives said they still don't know who fired the shots.

The bodies of Elizabeth Fontaine, 38, her daughters Catherine, 4, and Julia, 2, and their grandmother, Bonnie Hoult, 67, were found Monday afternoon in a home in the upscale Talega community.

Each had a single gunshot wound to the upper torso.

Investigators said the family was visiting Orange County for a hearing Monday at which Superior Court Commissioner Thomas H. Schulte temporarily gave custody of the two daughters to an aunt, and the mother was instructed to return the next day, according to court records.

The family was found in a hallway on the second floor after deputies arrived shortly before 2 p.m. Monday, Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino said, adding that the two children had been killed first.

Amormino said that the family had arrived Sunday from Houston for the custody hearing and that they were staying with friends Kevin and Leslie Herbert, who lived in the rented house on the small cul-de-sac with their young son.

Detectives said the .357-caliber revolver was registered to Hoult, who apparently bought it a year ago. Amormino said it could be weeks before it is known who fired the gun.

ruben.vives@latimes.com

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