UPDATE: The victims have now been identified as Kadience Cadena, 17, Haley Burns, 17, and Hayden Burns, 15.
Three Texas teens were found dead in a Houston-area home in an apparent double murder-suicide on Tuesday afternoon, according to reports. Police have not yet identified the victims or motive.
Two of the victims were reportedly 17-year-old girls, the third is a male aged about 15. One of the deceased is believed to be a friend or acquaintance of the other two, who investigators said were related.
Details remain scant, but authorities said the bodies showed signs of physical trauma and are presuming foul play.
“It appears that this case may be a case of a double homicide and a suicide,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters at the scene earlier this week. “Those are the preliminary observations that I have.”
3 Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide
According to local media accounts, the bodies were discovered Tuesday by a relative who lives next door to the rural home in Crosby, some 25 miles northeast of Houston.
“[The relative] came to the location, they did not get a response,” and entered the house to find the grisly scene, Gonzalez said.
Two bodies were reportedly found together in the house, while the third was found in another room. Police have not said which of the deceased was discovered separately.
Sheriff’s deputies recovered a firearm from the home, believed to have been involved with the crime, though no official cause of death has been determined.
Reports indicate that the adult who owns the home was away at the time of the deaths. Law enforcement is working to get in touch with the homeowner, but it was not known if they had made contact by Wednesday morning.
“It’s really surprising to see something like this happen out here to one of us,” said David Givans, a Crosby resident who lives in a neighboring home. “It’s a close community for the most part. We all watch out for each other.”
Texas Teens Remain Unidentified
The three victims’ names have not been publicly revealed, nor has their relationship been clarified. Local news outlets were unable to confirm if the teens lived in Crosby or attended area schools before their deaths.
Gonzalez told reporters that investigators believe two of them were related, though police have not said how closely. The third may have been a friend or an acquaintance of one or both of the others.
After authorities made their initial sweep of the crime scene, the sheriff said there were two young women, about 17 years old, and a teen boy, about 15, found dead inside. Those ages were originally provided as estimates but have since been reported as fact, though the Sheriff’s Office has not officially confirmed the ages of any of the three.
Police have also not said which of the Texas teens they believe killed the others before turning the gun on themselves. No motive was apparent after preliminary investigation of the home, and authorities did not report finding a note or any other explanatory materials at the scene.
The young ages of the deceased made an already tragic scenario all the more heartbreaking, Gonzalez said.
“Anytime there’s a child involved, at the end of the day we are all parents in some way and connected to young people,” the sheriff told reporters, adding that the deaths were “senseless” and that there was no standing threat to the greater Crosby community.
“It’s extremely difficult when we are talking about young people,” Gonzalez added.