MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – The bodies of a father and his 13-year-old daughter were found in their Brevard County home during a well-being check, authorities said.
Deputies said Sittichai Boonkeian, 42, and Ananya Mungmart were found dead Sunday night in a home on Indian Street.
The Brevard County Sheriff's Office said Boonkeian's death was likely suicide. Ananya's cause of death remains under investigation.
The body of Boonkeian, who worked at a Thai food restaurant in Rockledge, was found in a closet, while the daughter's body was located in a bedroom in the one-story Merritt Island residence, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.
Family members think a busy work load could have played a role in their deaths, saying Boonkeian worked six or seven days a week. But his sister says his hours were recently cut. Instead of finding another job, she says he wanted to spend time with his daughter and enjoy life.
"I feel really bad. I never think this would happen to me. I never think he'd be stupid like that. I think he's smart enough, both smart enough, why he think like that...I don't even know," Sue Boonkeian said.
Friends of the family told News 6 they thought Boonkeian and his daughter were out of town on vacation. They described Boonkeian as a hardworker and didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, adding that they are devastated with the father and daughter's deaths.
"I could not sleep at all, just trying to figure out what's the reasoning behind it. Very shocking," neighbor Wanda Grega said.
The teen had recently celebrated a birthday on Valentine's Day and attended Tropical Elementary School in Merritt Island, officials said. School officials said crisis teams were at the school Monday to help her classmates cope.
Friends told News 6 that Boonkeian and his daughter were American citizens and he had spent the last 6 years trying to bring his wife to the United States from Thailand.
"We're still conducting a death investigation," said Cpl. Dave Jacobs, a spokesman for the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.