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Family of five dead in apparent murder-suicide in Texas

September 23, 2013|By Michael Muskal
  • A mug shot of Israel Alvarez.
A mug shot of Israel Alvarez. (Navarro County Sheriff's…)

A family of five was found dead inside their home in rural Texas, and the incident is being investigated as a murder-suicide, officials said Monday.

Authorities said the bodies of Israel Alvarez, his wife Guadalupe Ronquillo-Ovalle and their three sons, ages 10, 8 and 4 were found Sunday evening in their home outside Rice, Texas, about 40 miles southeast of Dallas.

A .22-caliber semiautomatic long rifle was found at the scene, Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner said at a news conference Monday morning.

“We are working this case as murder-suicide,” Tanner said. “The evidence at the location supports a murder-suicide scene.”

“It’s a traumatic situation,” Tanner said. “We will take the time to remember those victims and those families this morning. A lot of people have been touched by this unfortunate incident.”

All five people had gunshot wounds to their torsos, though exactly who shot whom remains to be investigated, Tanner said. Police discovered the bodies after a relative called authorities to report the shootings.

Alvarez had been arrested on Sept. 11 on misdemeanor assault charges involving a fight with Ronquillo-Ovalle, Tanner said. He was released after two days in jail.

“I don't care where you are. Any time there's five losses of lives in one location, that's shocking and traumatic,” Tanner said. “It doesn't make any difference where you are. It's a horrible, horrible thing to see, witness or be a part of.”

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