Mother, toddler found dead in Sugar Land home

July 24, 2009 9:39:31 PM PDT
A husband found his wife and daughter shot to death in their Sugar Land home Friday afternoon in a possible murder-suicide. The incident happened around 2:30pm Friday on Padgett Court. The victims' bodies are at the medical examiner.

Investigators are calling this a murder-suicide. They've taken the husband in for questioning, but are not calling him a suspect. Authorities say they believe his story.

The family should have been in Dallas Friday night. They planned to head there for a weekend wedding, but their plans were interrupted by tragedy.

"Basically, his family has been wiped out," said Captain James Burger of the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities told us the husband was mowing his lawn and was outside for about 30 minutes. When he returned inside, he found his wife and 18-month-old daughter dead in an upstairs bathtub. A 45-caliber pistol was in the tub with them. Both had gunshot wounds to the upper torso.

"The small child was resting on the adult," said Capt. Burger.

Fort Bend County Sheriff's deputies were on scene just after 2:30pm to question neighbors. No one reported hearing gunshots.

Into the night, deputies combed the house and yard next door for bullets, which they believe may have blown through the bathroom walls when shots were fired.

Neighbor Deirdre Rivette said she knew the couple, who recently moved to the neighborhood.

"They were a nice couple," said Rivett. "I didn't see anything that'd be different, didn't see anything that would hurt themselves or the kid. This is a shock."

Police said the wife did have bipolar problems, but wouldn't say whether she was diagnosed or being treated for the disease. However extensive her problem was behind closed doors, the problem was subtle to neighbors who knew her.

"She was very subdued. She was a quiet person. She kept to herself. You'd never know anything," Rivette said.

The two bodies were taken to Galveston County Medical Examiner's Office. We are told most of their family is in Dallas and have been notified.

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