An Army intelligence soldier who was found dead alongside his family in an apparent murder-suicide in Texas has been pictured for the first time since their bodies were found.
Jared Esquibel Harless, 38, his 36-year-old wife, four children and two cats were found dead in an SUV in their garage on Thursday, after police found a ‘cryptic note’ and strong chemical odor at their home.
Police have so far only released the ages of the wife and children – two boys aged four and 11-months and two girls three and one.
Esquibel Harless was a US Army soldier assigned to the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade at Joint Base San Antonio and had moved to the neighborhood in January.
Neighbors told Fox San Antonio the family were new to the area but they never saw anything ‘out of the ordinary’.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said the smell of carbon dioxide was so strong when officers arrived that it ‘kind of blew everybody back out the door.’
He said police had gone to the house for a welfare check requested by the husband’s employer, who had been unable to reach him.
‘They were OK yesterday because he checked in with his work,’ McManus said. ‘So it happened sometime overnight.’
McManus said on the front door of the home was a ‘cryptic note’ with military jargon.
A member of the military translated it to: ‘Bodies or people inside, do not enter. The animals are in the freezer.’
The chief said the note also hinted at booby traps.
‘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,’ the chief said.
When they entered, the cops were overcome by a heavy, noxious odor which turned out to be carbon monoxide.
Police said they found no explosives after they entered, McManus said.
Two cats were also found dead in the front seat of the SUV.
‘It’s the whole picture. The adults, the children, the pets,’ McManus said. ‘Saying it’s not pretty – there’s no words to describe that.’
McManus said there was evidence that ‘it was not an accident’ and he did not suggest that anyone outside the family was involved.
McManus said the family moved into the house in January.
Joint Base San Antonio issued a statement on Friday confirming the incident.
‘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.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Karen Ruiz; The Associated Press