ORLANDO, Fla. – Authorities say an officer for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection killed his wife and children before taking his own life last Thursday.
On Feb. 20, Almodovar and his family were found dead inside their Orange County, Florida, home, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said in a press conference. The 39-year-old man had fatally shot his wife and their two children before turning the gun on himself, People reported.
“Family time… we needed this… no school, no work, no adult bulls— just family time enjoying life through eyes of kids… love you baby,” Ezequiel wrote on Facebook of the moments he shared with his wife Marielis Soto-Almodovar, 38, and their sons Ezequiel Jr., 16, and Gabriel, 12, while at Disney.
The Orange County Sheriffs Office says the older Almodovar, who worked as an officer for Customs and Border Protection at the airport, was the perpetrator of familicide at their home, according to WJHG.
The horrific event left people in dismay.
The middle school teammates of the youngest victim came to say a prayer for their friend in front of the house where the family was killed, reported WJHG.
Marie Harris lives next door, and her nephew was a friend with Gabriel. “I cried. I cried because I was like, what happened? Why did it happen to the children?” she said.
Neighbors had no way to explain it.
“Absolute shock. Absolute shock. Because it literally would have been the last group of people around here in my mind that this would happen to,” Michelle McCracken said.
Deputies came here because someone called concerned about the family’s well-being and said they hadn’t been seen since last week.
People who live close to them said they didn’t hear anything suspicious.
“They did seem like very happy with each other, very happy with the kids. Like I said, the kids were such good kids,” McCracken said.
Investigators haven’t said why they believe this happened or exactly why they believe Almodovar was the killer.
Customs and Border Protection sent a statement, saying it is “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.”
The agency also confirmed that Almodovar had recently been transferred to a new post in Jacksonville, but neighbors said they never saw any for sale signs on the house.