KEY POINTS

  • San Antonio police were called by a neighbor to conduct a welfare check on the family after not hearing from or seeing them in several days
  • Police found the family of six and their two cats dead inside an SUV in the garage 
  • Military police and the FBI will assist San Antonio police with its investigation into the family's death

San Antonio police said Friday they suspected a U.S. military family found dead in their home died in an apparent murder-suicide. The names of the victims were not released by police.

Police Chief William McManus said the bodies were found Thursday during a welfare check sought by a neighbor who called police around 10:30 a.m., saying there had been no word from the family in several days. McManus said the family had rented the home in January. The husband was a U.S. service member.

When officers arrived, they were greeted by a note written using military language and what was described as “heavy, noxious fumes.”

“Most officers know what the smell of decomposing bodies is, and that’s not what has been described,” McManus said. He said the note warned: “Bodies of people inside, do not enter” and “Animals are in the freezer.”

Police deployed a drone and began searching the home until they could identify the source of the smell. 

“Based on the note that we received, we were very cautious about going in, and we were trying to find out what was in there before we made entry,” McManus said.

Officers eventually made their way into the home’s garage and found the family’s bodies and their cats inside the SUV. The husband and wife were described as being in their 30s, while their four children were between 11-months-old and 4-years-old.

Homicide detectives were called in to investigate. The FBI and military police were assisting.

 

Police Scene Representational image of a crime scene. Photo: Suzanne Cordiero/AFP/Getty Images