A California man is accused of murdering his young daughter and baby son and then hanging himself on Father's Day.
Police arrived at 40-year-old Alvaro Camara's Santa Rosa home on June 19 and found the bodies of 6-year-old Juliana and 18-month-old Julian, the Daily Mail reported. They then found Camara's body hanging in his bedroom.
Camara was supposed to drop off his two children at their mother's house on June 18, but never showed up. His estranged wife has reported the kids unaccounted for to police prior to the tragedy.
"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," Camara's wife said in a statement. "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."
The couple is still married, but have been separated for six months. Neighbors said Camara only lived in the area for a few months, but added that arguments between Camara and his wife became intense on several occasions.
Deputies said the couple was involved in a custody dispute before the double murder-suicide.
"I'm not quite sure what was going through his mind," Camara's sister, Jessica Espada, told KTVU. "It just caught all of us by surprise, and it's very tragic, we aren't sure why he would do such a thing?"
Authorities found the children's lifeless bodies near Camara after climbing through a bathroom window. The kids were spending Father's Day with him.
"It's an absolute tragedy to see two young children lose their lives in a custody dispute," Santa Rosa Police Lt. John Cregan said. "Our preliminary investigation shows they did have a volatile arrangement following their separation, and there have been heated verbal exchanges that we're aware of."
Neighbors were shocked at the news.
"A beautiful little girl and a sweet little boy," said Julia Poncia. "He was great, he'd have the kids visit, and ride bikes, and he'd take them to the park, and so I don't know. You just never know about people."
Police are still investigating, although it appears there was no warning of violence.
"We're still going to be exploring the timeline to determine when the children were last seen and when the tragedy occurred," Cregan said.
Deputies have not disclosed how the children died at this time, WXIN reported.