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Family's death in San Diego is believed to be planned murder-suicide, police say

Notes left in the San Diego home where a couple and their two daughters were found dead discuss financial troubles, funeral instructions and how possessions were to be given away, police say.

May 27, 2011|By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
  • Alex Jasmund, 17, shows a picture of himself with High Tech High School classmate Priscilla Pimienta. The day after the cellphone photo was taken, Priscilla was found dead at her house in San Diego, along with her parents and sister.
Alex Jasmund, 17, shows a picture of himself with High Tech High School classmate… (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles…)

Reporting from San Diego -- Police say they believe that a man and his wife who were found dead this week along with their two daughters at their Paradise Hills home planned their murder-suicide.

Notes left in the home indicate that the mother and father were involved, said Lt. Ernest Herbert, although he declined to say what role each parent played.

The notes discussed financial problems the family was having and also gave instructions about how funerals were to be planned and family possessions given away, Herbert said.

The father and two daughters were found in the backyard swimming pool early Tuesday, the mother in the bathtub inside the house, police said. They were identified as Alfredo, 44, and Georgina Pimienta, 38, and daughters, Priscilla, 17, and Emily, 9.

The father was apparently the last to die, Herbert said. Alfredo Pimienta called someone Tuesday morning to come to the house to discuss a business arrangement. When that person arrived, he discovered the bodies, police said.

Although it was initially believed that all four family members had drowned, the official cause of death has not been determined by the county medical examiner pending completion of toxicology tests, authorities said.

The family had rented their single-story home through the federal Section 8 rental-assistance program and had lived in the neighborhood for at least a year.

But friends and relatives said there were no indications that something was wrong.

Alfredo Pimienta was a tow truck operator who seemed to get along well with his wife, family members said. Emily could often be seen riding her bike with friends in the neighborhood; Priscilla was a studious teenager who was looking forward to college.

Alex Jasmund, 17, said he went to the movies Monday afternoon to see "Priest" with Priscilla, whom he described as his best friend at San Diego's High Tech High School.

Afterward, he said, they went out for yogurt and then sat by the pool, where they talked about their upcoming prom.

"Nothing seemed wrong," he said. "How did this happen? And why did this happen?"

Los Angeles Times staff writer Richard Marosi contributed to this report.

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