ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A man killed a woman and two children at their east Orange County home then killed himself in what authorities are calling a tragic triple murder-suicide, according to Orange County Sheriff John Mina.
Deputies said officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection contacted them Thursday asking for assistance because they hadn’t heard from one of their employees.
As authorities investigated, they said they realized that other members of the man’s family also hadn’t been heard from in several days.
Mina said deputies went to the home on Corner Glen Drive around 3 p.m. and made the decision to enter based on that information. Once inside the home, they found the bodies of a man, his wife, a high school-aged boy and a middle school-aged boy who had been fatally shot.
Mina said authorities believe the man, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer assigned to Orlando International Airport, killed his family, then killed himself.
“It’s just a tragic situation,” Mina said.
Mina said the crime happened in a quiet neighborhood and he wasn’t aware of any prior calls to service at the home. The family members were identified Friday as Ezequiel Almodovar, 39, 38-year-old Marielis Soto, 16-year-old Ezequiel Almodovar and 12-year-old Gabriel Almodovar.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a statement about the deaths early Friday.
“CBP’s Miami & Tampa Field Offices are saddened to learn of the deaths of one of our officers, who before taking his own life, took the lives of his wife and two children. We are devastated by this tragic loss and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected,” Director of Field Operations Diane Sabatino said. “We are currently working with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to ensure that any information needed for their ongoing investigation is made available.”
A recorded call was sent to Corner Lake Middle and East River High school families Friday morning after the school district officials learned of the deaths of two students.
“This is Nikki Campbell calling with some very sad news to share with you," Campbell said in the message. "We were made aware this evening of the death of one of our students last night. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family as they go through this extremely difficult time.”
Check back for more updates on this developing story.