Sheriff: Motive in family's slaying still unclear

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Associated Press

Posted on February 5, 2014 at 8:02 AM

HOUSTON (AP) — Investigators said Tuesday they remained baffled by the fatal shootings last week of a "quiet family" of four, including two children, at their suburban Houston home.

Authorities have not yet determined a motive for the slayings, said Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia.

The names of the victims have not been released as authorities are still trying to contact relatives of the family, who had emigrated from China. Authorities said the husband and wife were naturalized U.S. citizens. It was not immediately known when they had immigrated to the United States.

Garcia said deputies went to the family's Cypress home last Thursday after co-workers of the husband became concerned when he didn't show up for work for several days.

At the home, deputies saw that the back door was open and inside they found what Garcia described as a "horrific crime scene."

Harris County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Felipe Rivera said all four victims were found in their bedrooms. He declined to give other details of the crime scene, only saying the victims had not been tied up and no weapons were found at the home.

"We have no other information that will speak to a motive, as to why this occurred," Garcia said. "From all indications, they were a quiet family, they were the average family. ... I am bothered by the loss of life of two children."

Autopsies done by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences have ruled the deaths as homicide. All four victims — including the 7- and 9-year-old boys — were shot in the head. Garcia said authorities don't know the type of weapon that was used or what caliber it was.

Rivera said investigators found signs of forced entry on one of the home's windows but it was unclear if that damage had occurred recently or was older. Investigators don't know if anything was taken from the home.

"It is baffling," Rivera said of the case.

The last time anyone is known to have seen the family's father was Jan. 24, when he finished his workday as a mechanical engineer for Cameron, a Houston-based company that provides flow equipment products, systems and services to worldwide oil, gas and process industries.

Sharon Sloan, a spokeswoman for Cameron, confirmed the man had worked for the company but declined to comment further.

Garcia said the search for a suspect continues and he urged anyone with information on the case to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477.

"I need everyone in this region ... to help us bring these evildoers to justice," he said.

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Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: https://twitter.com/juanlozano70

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