Defiance Sheriff investigating suspected triple murder, suicide - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Defiance Co. Sheriff investigating suspected triple murder, suicide

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DEFIANCE COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) -

The Defiance County Sheriff's Office is investigating what is believed to be a triple murder/suicide near Defiance.

Four people were discovered in their home on Bowman Road by a family member checking on their welfare, according to the sheriff's office. The four had last been seen Wednesday afternoon.

The sheriff's office says it is believed that Robert Garza Sr., murdered his wife, Christine, daughter, Zoila Garza, and granddaughter, Rebecca Garza, before taking his own life.

"I'm very shocked and saddened to hear about it," said Anne Gregory, a Defiance resident. "You never know what goes on in people's lives, but we just think about them."

WANE in Fort Wayne is reporting the husband and wife were found in one room of the home and the daughter and granddaughter were found in another room. The granddaughter is believed to be 14 years old.

Defiance County Sheriff David Westrick told WANE that a handgun was found in the home and is believed to be the murder weapon. Westrick said there did not appear to have been a struggle prior to the shootings.

There's no word yet on a motive, but the sheriff's office says Garza was a veteran of the Vietnam War and had been battling health issues.

"All the years I've been doing this, we have never had that number of people that have passed away, except for a car accident. You just have compassion for the family," said Westrick.

Westrick says he's never seen anything like this before and hopes he never has to again.

"It will make people think about their families a lot more and to be very diligent if they see difficulties with the family member. Don't be afraid to ask for outside help," said Westrick.   

Help that shouldn't be hard to find. Community members have already come forward and said they're ready to step up and support the remaining family members however they can.

"If there's anything that we can do for any of those people, we'd be more than willing to do that," said Gregory.

Deputies are still investigating, and say they plan to speak with several family members and neighbors over the next few days.

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