A California father is the prime suspect in a tragic murder-suicide on Father’s Day weekend that took the lives of two young children.
According to ABC 7, authorities found Alvaro Camara, 40; his six-year-old daughter; and his 18-month-old son dead in Camara’s Santa Rosa home on Monday morning.
Camara reportedly hung himself, and the children’s cause of death is not yet known. It is also not known exactly when the father and children died, which may become a critical factor in the investigation, as police reportedly visited the home on Sunday night but did not enter the apartment. Deputies found the three bodies when they returned with concerned relatives the next day.
Neighbors told the news station that Camara had recently moved in to the apartment since his separation from his wife, and appeared to be a loving father.
“They’re really super sweet kids and he seemed like a really good father. He was always playing with them, riding his bike out here with them,” neighbor Carrie Buchholz told the news station.
But the children were believed to be at the center of a custody battle, and neighbors reportedly said Camara had been “on edge” in the days leading up to the apparent murder-suicide.
The children had been visiting him for Father’s Day weekend, and he was scheduled to return them to their mother on Sunday night. When he did not appear, the mother called police.
“We’re still going to be exploring the timeline to determine when the children were last seen and when this tragedy occurred. The mother immediately did report it to the sheriff’s department and they immediately begun investigating,” Santa Rosa Police Dept. Lt. John Cregan told ABC 7.
“He was having a hard time going through the divorce and there were issues with the kids and custody and all that,” Buchholz said.
Police reportedly visited the home on Sunday night and found it quiet. According to KTVU, the deputies concluded that the father was extending his visit with his children.
They returned the next morning, and found the three bodies after entering the apartment through a window.
“I heard them talking this morning, about 7:30 or 8:00, what were they saying, I don’t know but I could hear their voices,” she said.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.