ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH/Hearst/CNN) - The middle school teammates of the youngest victim came here to say a prayer for their friend in front of the house where the family was killed.
Investigators haven't said why they think the father, Ezequiel Almodovar, killed his wife, Marielis Soto, and their two kids, Ezequiel, 16, and Gabriel, 12, before taking his own life. (Source: Ezequiel Almodovar/Facebook/WESH/CNN)
This picture from a family vacation last year shows them all: the father, Ezequiel Almodovar, his wife, Marielis Soto, and their two kids, Ezequiel, 16, and Gabriel, 12.
The Orange County Sheriffs Office says the older Almodovar, who worked as an officer for Customs and Border Protection at the airport, killed his wife and children in their house in East Orange County.
Marie Harris lives next door, and her nephew was friends with Gabriel. “I cried. I cried because I was like, what happened? Why did it happen to the children?” she said.
Neighbors had no way to explain it.
“Absolute shock. Absolute shock. Because it literally would have been the last group of people around here in my mind that this would happen to,” Michelle McCracken said.
Deputies came here because someone called concerned about the family’s well-being and said they hadn’t been seen since last week.
People who live close to them said they didn’t hear anything suspicious.
“They did seem like very happy with each other, very happy with the kids. Like I said, the kids were such good kids,” McCracken said.
Investigators haven’t said why they believe this happened or exactly why they believe Almodovar was the killer.
Customs and Border Protection sent a statement, saying it is “saddened to learn of the deaths of one of our officers, who before taking his own life, took the lives of his wife and two children. We are devastated by this tragic loss and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected.”
The agency also confirmed that Almodovar had recently been transferred to a new post in Jacksonville, but neighbors said they never saw any for sale signs on the house.
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