A father is believed to have murdered his young son and daughter then hanged himself on Father’s Day during a bitter custody battle with his estranged wife.
The bodies of Alvaro Camara and his kids were found on the Monday after Father’s Day by policemen who arrived their home in response to a welfare check.
Police first checked in on Father’s Day evening but the house was dark and no one answered so they assumed he was still out with his kids. But they arrived on Monday morning accompanied by worried relatives and the police climbed through a window to find Camara hanged in a bedroom and his children dead nearby. Police aren’t saying how the children died at the moment but they believe it is a case of murder-suicide.
Camara was married, but he had been separated from his wife for 6 months and they were involved in a custody dispute. His two children, a 6-year-old daughter and an 18-month-old son, spent Father’s Day with him at home in Santa Rosa, California. He was supposed to drop them off at their mother’s house on Sunday night by 7 p.m., but he never did. Camara’s estranged wife came to the house for her kids on Sunday evening but when no one answered her knock, she called the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department. When deputies arrived to see the place was dark, they left thinking he was extending his Father’s Day outing with them, Neighbours said that Camara had only lived there for a few months, but the arguments between him and his estranged wife were intense on several occasions.
The grieving mother of the two deceased children released a statement on Tuesday. It read in part:
“I sit… swaddled in my daughter’s blanket and drinking tea from a cup that reads ‘I love you mom’, fighting back the tears and struggling to make sense of this horrific situation. I sought help on numerous occasions and said many many many times my children were in danger in their father’s care and I didn’t receive the urgent help I needed to save them.”
“I’m not quite sure what was going through his mind,’ said Camara’s sister, Jessica Espada who arrived at the scene.
“It just caught all of us by surprise, and it’s very tragic, we aren’t sure why he would do such a thing?”