Dad in custody dispute kills self, 2 children after spending Father’s Day together

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KRON) — A father killed his two children and himself in a Santa Rosa double murder-suicide on Monday morning, according to police.

The killings happened at around 9:53 a.m. in the 700 block of Slater Street.

Before the murder-suicide, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputies were investigating a child custody violation, involving a dispute between a husband and wife about their two children.

The victims have been identified as a 6-year-old girl and an 18-month old boy.

During the investigation, authorities tried to contact the father and check on the children. Sheriff’s deputies eventually entered the home and found the three dead.

The father, 40, hung himself in a bedroom with the two kids nearby.

The names of those dead have not been identified.

A Santa Rosa police lieutenant said the father had custody of the children on Father’s Day Sunday and was to return them to their mother that evening.

The father and the children’s mother, who lived in unincorporated Sonoma County southwest of Santa Rosa, were involved in a custody dispute and the father violated a custody order, Lt. John Cregan said.

The mother went to look for the children at the Slater Street residence Sunday evening but they were not there, Cregan said.

She notified the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Sunday night and sheriff’s deputies found the bodies in the Slater Street home and notified Santa Rosa police around 9:50 a.m. Monday, Cregan said.

The couple was married but separated, and police are investigating whether there were any prior calls for service at the 40-year-old father’s Slater Street home, Cregan said.

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