DEFIANCE, Ohio (AP) — Sheriff’s deputies sought out relatives and friends of the victims Friday for clues to a motive in the apparent triple-murder and suicide that left a couple, their daughter and teenage granddaughter dead in rural northwest Ohio.
Officials identified the dead as Robert Garza Sr., 68, his wife, Christine Garza, 61, their daughter, Zoila Garza, 42, and a granddaughter, 15-year-old Rebecca Garza.
The grandfather apparently killed the others and then took his own life, according to Defiance County sheriff’s department investigators who went to the scene about 60 miles southwest of Toledo.
The sheriff’s department said the bodies were discovered Thursday night by a family member who was checking on the welfare of the four.
They were last seen around 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Sheriff David Westrick said Friday that two bodies were found in one room and two in another.
He declined to be more specific about the scene or indicate how many times each was shot.
A handgun apparently used in the shootings was found at the scene, the sheriff said.
The sheriff said he knew the family, not well, and said Garza was a hard-working, law-abiding individual who didn’t come to the attention of deputies.
Westrick said the initial investigation indicated Garza had health problems and was concerned about exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.
The sheriff said there was no immediate indication whether the health problems might have sparked the shooting rampage, and he declined to specify Garza’s ailments.
The house is in a rural area several miles outside the city of Defiance.