Report: Police Say Husband, Wife Planned Murder-Suicide
Authorities Say Autopsies For Pimienta Family Inconclusive
11:21 PM, May 25, 2011
San Diego police Wednesday said they discovered evidence that indicated a husband and wife planned the deaths of their two children and themselves, according to 10News' media partner the San Diego Union-Tribune.
"We have writings found in the home from each of the parents," SDPD Capt. Jim Collins said. "This event was probably planned by both of them. What role each played we are still trying to determine."According to the U-T, Collins said he would not disclose what the parents wrote that led investigators to conclude both of them planned the murder-suicide. He said he wanted to protect the family's privacy.10News learned Alfredo and Georgina each wrote a suicide note with details about how they wanted their affairs to be handled and even the clothes they wanted their daughters to be buried in. Autopsies were performed Wednesday on the bodies of a 44-year-old Alfredo Pimienta, his 37-year-old wife, Georgina, and their daughters, 17-year-old Priscilla and 9-year-old Emily. The family was found dead at their Bay Terraces home on Tuesday morning in what was initially ruled a murder-suicide.Authorities said Wednesday's autopsies were inconclusive and cause-of-death rulings for would remain on hold pending toxicology tests that could take weeks or months to complete, according to the county Medical Examiner's Office.The autopsy report also shows paramedics tried to resuscitate Emily and her father but pronounced them dead at the scene. A relative visiting the Pimientas' rented Parkcreek Court home spotted two of the family members' bodies in their backyard pool about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to San Diego police.Patrol officers found Alfredo Pimienta and his daughters dead in the water, SDPD Lt. Ernie Herbert said. The body of Georgina Pimienta was inside the home, in a bathtub.All four appeared to have drowned, according to a spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.Evidence at the residence and interviews with relatives provided "strong evidence" that the deaths were an instance of murder-suicide, Herbert said, declining to elaborate.Authorities initially declined to comment on published reports that the patriarch of the family had left behind a note suggesting that he killed his wife and daughters and committed suicide, apparently due to despair over severe financial problems they were facing. 10News learned the couple had racked up extensive credit card debt. The relative who discovered the bodies told police Alfredo Pimienta, a tow-truck operator, had arranged to meet him at the family's home early Tuesday morning, supposedly to discuss a business transaction, the homicide lieutenant said.Neighbor Frederico Francisco said he remembers hearing something strange the morning of the murder-suicide. "It was about 4, 5 o'clock in the morning and I heard some commotion at this house and it sounded like a diesel engine running and some male voice," he said. Francisco said that male voice sounded like Alfredo but he doesn't know what the person was saying. Neighbor Nestor Baguio Jr. told 10News, "Didn't seem like anything was wrong. It was just like a normal family. [He was a] family man, you know." Toxicology screenings on the family could take anywhere from 30 to 90 days to complete, an investigator with the Medical Examiner's Office said.