The Texas father found dead in his garage along with his wife, four children and two cats has been identified as a soldier assigned to a nearby Army base.
On Thursday, Staff Sgt. Jared Esquibel Harless, 38, was found dead beside his wife, 36, his two sons, ages 4 and 11 months, and two daughters, ages 3 and 1, while police conducted a welfare check, the San Antonio Express-News, Stars and Stripes and KABB report.
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Describing the dead, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said, “It’s the whole picture. The adults, the children, the pets. Saying it’s not pretty — there’s no words to describe that.”
While police have not confirmed whether the family’s death was a murder-suicide, McManus did say on Thursday that their deaths were “not an accident.”
According to military officials, Harless joined the Army in January 2010 and was a cryptologic cyberspace intelligence analyst. In 2011, he was deployed to Iraq and most recently was assigned to the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade at the Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.
the family’s death, one neighbor told the Express-News they were rarely seen.
“They’d been here since January, and the husband waved to me just once, outside,” neighbor Jorge Canavati Jr. said. “That was it. I mean, they were always locked up in the house.”
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Police responded to a welfare check at the family’s home on Thursday morning after Harless failed to call into work. Upon arrival, officers noticed the smell of carbon monoxide and found a note that McManus described as “very cryptic” with ““military jargon” warning people from entering the home.
Afraid the home could be rigged with explosives, authorities checked for bombs but found none. Eventually, the family’s bodies were found in their SUV that was parked in the garage. Their two pet cats were also inside the vehicle.
A spokesperson for Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston did not immediately reply for comment Monday.