SAN ANTONIO – Neighbors of a family found dead in the garage of a Stone Oak home say they are shocked and saddened by the news.
San Antonio police made the discovery Thursday night after a tense all-day situation.
Police Chief William McManus said officers found the bodies of a man and woman in their mid- to late 30s, along with those of their four children, all between the ages of 11 months and four years old, inside a vehicle in their garage.
“So six dead in the back of the vehicle. Appears to be carbon monoxide,” McManus said in a news conference.
Police had been at the home, located on Red Willow near Wilderness Oak, all day long.
Officers initially were there to check on the family. Once they arrived, McManus said they noticed an odor and found a cryptic note on the door. Police sent in a robot and thought it detected explosives in the home.
A cellphone alert meant to warn people in the immediate area inadvertently went out to a wider area due to a “computer glitch,” according to a fire department spokesman. The alert advised people to evacuate their homes during that investigation.
“That confused everybody. We all thought what’s going on?,” said Don Green, reflecting on Thursday’s events. Green lives in a gated neighborhood, but in a different subdivision from where the family was found.
By Friday morning, the confusion he and others felt had given way to disbelief.
“We were stunned when we heard about that. It’s crazy,” Green said. “I can’t imagine what would cause him to do that.”
Police believe for at least one of the family members, the death was a suicide.
“I can’t say much more than that,” McManus said.
Investigators didn’t know much about the family, other than they had ties to the military. McManus said they had moved into the neighborhood in January.
While Rose Coben hadn’t yet met the family, she said she still feels the loss.
“It was just beyond, I can’t even tell you. There’s just not a word,” she said.
Coben stopped to share her feelings Friday morning as she headed to a store to buy prayer candles.
She said she and others in that community are in the process of organizing a candlelight vigil in memory of the family, although she didn’t yet know the date or time for it.
Joint Base San Antonio sent KSAT the following statement regarding the case:
“A U.S. Army soldier assigned to the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade, Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston, was found deceased in his home in San Antonio, June 4. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the deceased. Additional information will be released pending next of kin notification. The case is currently under investigation by the San Antonio Police Department and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.”