2 men in middle of divorce killed inside million-dollar home in apparent murder-suicide

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The news of Ben and Rene Ruiz's deaths come as a shock for the many people who described the couple as happy, loving and groundbreaking in the gay community.

Houston police say the men, who were in the midst of a divorce, died in a murder-suicide inside a million-dollar home near the Galleria.

Their bodies were discovered Thursday inside a bathroom at their home on Markham Street near Weslayan.

"It's not truly set in yet," said Ben's longtime friend, Edward Sanchez. "I think deep down inside I'm waiting to hear from him."

Sanchez said the couple helped pave the path for the Houston gay community. Ben was a cosmetics director at Laura Mercier.

"They were really kind of pillars of the community when they decided they were going to get married. This was before gay marriage was legal in the United States, this was before it was even legal to get a marriage license in Houston," Sanchez said.

WATCH: What investigators know of the couple's deaths
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Houston police say two men killed in an apparent murder-suicide were going through a divorce.

Investigators said police were called to the home for a welfare check after a close and longtime friend of the couple got a disturbing text.

Police say the cause of death is a murder-suicide.

Eyewitness News learned the couple, who have been common law married since 1996, have a marriage license from 2016 but recently filed for divorce in March.

"I knew that they amicably decided that they weren't going to be together," Sanchez said.

Sanchez says there was never any indication of anger or tension that would lead to violence on this scale.

"I hope that they find peace. They deserve that, they deserve to have peace," Sanchez said.

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Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Ehling is live at the scene near the Galleria where two men were found dead inside a home.

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