BOERNE, Texas – A triple shooting that occurred in a Northwest Bexar County home Thursday has been ruled a double murder-suicide, but Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said his office still has a lot of investigating to do.
The family of two of the victims have identified them as Nichol Olsen, 37, and her daughter, Alexa Montez, 16. The medical examiner's office identified the third victim as a 10-year-old girl.
Salazar said they're awaiting dental records to confirm the 10-year-old's identity.
Salazar said his office isn't ready to say that Olsen killed Montez and the 10-year-old girl, then took her own life, although the medical examiner has ruled the two girls' deaths homicides and Olsen's death a suicide.
"The fact that Nichol Olsen's death, right now, has been ruled a suicide, we can't just say that, 'Oh, well then she must've been the one who did this to these two little girls,'" Salazar said. "We still have to go out and find out who it was that killed these two young ladies."
A man Salazar said Olsen was dating discovered the bodies Thursday morning. The man told authorities he stayed elsewhere overnight and returned to his home in the Anaqua Springs Ranch neighborhood where he made the gruesome discovery.
Salazar said they're still looking into that man's story and that he has been cooperative with investigators, although "understandably upset" about their deaths.
"We're not going to stop investigating until we verify that," Salazar said. "As I mentioned earlier, we talked about cellphone tower technology -- that's going to go a long way in showing, at least, where his cellphone and then GPS on his vehicle -- it'll tell us where those two items were, and then we'll have to continue investigating to see if he was in possession of those two items."
Salazar told KSAT that Olsen's boyfriend and other witnesses are people of interest in the case. He elaborated that the designation does not mean they are suspects, rather, they believe that these people have information that could prove helpful to the investigation.
He said that while the medical examiner has ruled Olsen's death a suicide, he considers that information "somewhat preliminary," adding that authorities are running a toxicology report on the three people.
"You have to resist that urge to say, 'Well, case closed and let's move on to the next one,'" Salazar said. "We've got a lot of investigating yet to do in this case. We have to get that right."
Salazar said his investigators haven't ruled out the possibility others were involved.
"My investigators are being completely thorough, up to and including not ruling out the fact that there may be somebody here that wasn't on our radar before," Salazar said.
Salazar said investigators are reviewing neighbors' surveillance video, gunshot residue evidence, social media accounts for all involved, cellphone records, text messages and more.
Salazar shared the phone number and email for the homicide office and encouraged anyone with information about the case, and other homicide cases, to reach out through those outlets.
Homicide office: 210-335-6070 | Email: BCSOtips@bexar.org
"It's not that I'm not totally convinced by (the evidence)," Salazar said. "We owe it to the public and to the victims in the case, and their families, of course, to continue this investigation. We can't just say, 'Well, this is what the medical examiner says, case closed.' We've still got two murder investigations, at least at this point, on these two young ladies. We have to find out who it is."
Authorities said it's unclear who owned the gun used in the killings, saying they are treating property at the home as belongings shared between Olsen and her significant other. Salazar declined to say whether Olsen left a note.
Olsen's longtime friend, Rick Wright, said Saturday he doesn't believe Olsen took her own life.
"I would say that she would have had to have been killed," Wright said. "There's no way that she would have taken her life, or taken anybody else's life like that. That's just not how she was. That wasn't her - how she thinks. She loved life too much."
Montez's father, Carlos Montez, said his daughter had turned 16 in October and that he had planned to celebrate a number of milestones with her, including buying her her dream car and taking her to her birth city of Honolulu.
"When I think about the things I'll never be able to do with her, it's hard to face," Carlos Montez said.
Tributes poured in for Alexa Montez on Twitter, with Clark High School releasing a heartfelt message about the sophomore and her "contagious smile."
Below are a few of the tweets:
The Clark Community suffered a devastating loss last week with the death of sophomore Alexa Montez, a vibrant student with a contagious smile. Thank you for understanding&respecting the fact we were limited on what information could be shared...— Tom C. Clark HS (@NISDClark) January 14, 2019
Within this week we will be holding a memorial for Alexa to honor her life. The date will be posted on this account which we will keep updated. ❤️🦋 pic.twitter.com/zkDL7e4CPE— Clark Cheer🦋🦕 (@ClarkCheer24) January 14, 2019
Tonight we pray for the family of a beautiful soul.— San Antonio Spirit (@SA_Spirit15) January 11, 2019
Angels are ever all around us and we are sure she was an angel walking amongst us.
May God be with the entire @NISDClark and @ClarkCheer24 community through this hard time.
Editor's note: KSAT has made attempts to get in contact with relatives of the 10-year-old victim, but has not yet been able to confirm the girl's identity with them.