Editor’s note: This story includes discussion of domestic violence and suicide. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, help is available. Resources are listed at the bottom of this story.
A 70-year-old man and a 63-year-old woman were found slain in their Wesley Chapel home Monday night. Their son also was found dead from apparent self-inflicted injuries in what appeared to be a murder-suicide, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
Pasco deputies responded to the home about 6:15 p.m. Monday for a welfare check in the Azalea Ridge Drive area of Wesley Chapel, according to Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco, who spoke to the news media Monday night. Neighbors said the home appeared to be flooded, and that water had been leaking from the garage and door.
Deputies entered the home through a window and saw the 70-year-old man and the 63-year-old woman dead in the living room. The couple appeared to have died from stab wounds several days ago, Nocco said. The couple’s son, a 32-year-old man, was found dead inside a locked bathroom, in the tub.
The sheriff’s office did not release the names of anyone involved in the incident.
Neighbors told deputies they had noticed water coming from the home since late last week. Noccol said the water appeared to be coming from the bathtub and had been flowing for days. There were several inches of water throughout the home, he said.
Deputies believe the family had been dead in the home for several days, Nocco said.
“This is a sad situation, we don’t know what caused … the son to kill his parents, and then kill himself,” Nocco said. “But we do know that it was domestic violence.”
Nocco asked anyone in the Pasco County community who is dealing with domestic violence to reach out to Sunrise of Pasco County, a domestic and sexual violence center.
Deputies also determined the son was experiencing mental health issues, Nocco said.
“For everybody in the community, I keep reiterating the same thing over and over again, if there’s a mental health crisis going on in your family please find help,” Nocco said “If there’s domestic violence, reach out to Sunrise, because unfortunately these bad incidents continue to happen in every community.”
Deputies are continuing to investigate the incident.
Here are resources for people experiencing domestic violence.
If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
Here’s how to reach Tampa Bay’s domestic violence agencies for help:
Hillsborough County: Call or text The Spring of Tampa Bay’s 24-hour crisis line at 813-247-7233 or visit thespring.org. The Talk to You line is 813-248-1050.
Pasco County: Contact Sunrise of Pasco County via its 24-hour hotline at 888-668-7273 or 352-521-3120, or go online to sunrisepasco.org.
Pinellas County: Contact Community Action Stops Abuse, or CASA, by calling the 24-hour hotline at 727-895-4912, texting casa-stpete.org/chat or visiting casapinellas.org. The Talk to You line is 727-828-1269.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, reach out to the 24-hour National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by texting or calling 988 or chat with someone online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org. The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay can be reached by dialing 211 or by visiting crisiscenter.com.
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