4 dead in apparent murder-suicide in South Bay - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

4 dead in apparent murder-suicide in South Bay

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Mary Catherine Alvarez Mary Catherine Alvarez

Latest Information: A memorial fund has been created in honor of the Alvarez family. Money raised will help pay for the funeral arrangements and any remaining funds will be donated to local domestic violence charities.

Alvarez Family Memorial Fund
Chase Bank / Account number: 942985300

SAN DIEGO (CNS/CBS 8) - Attempts to identify a man who apparently killed himself by leaping off an East County freeway overpass early Wednesday uncovered an apparent murder-suicide that left a woman and her two children dead in a Chula Vista home.

The investigation began about 5:30 a.m., when a California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer came across an unoccupied 2001 Hyundai Elantra partially blocking the far-left lane on an elevated section of State Route 125, just south of SR-54 in Spring Valley, CHP public affairs Officer Art Athans said.

After pulling over to investigate, the officer spotted a man's body in a ravine about 150 feet below the bridge. No identification was found on the body.

The unidentified man apparently had committed suicide by jumping off the span, Athans said.

The CHP used registration records to determine the address of the car's owner, a Chula Vista woman, according to police in the South Bay city. Highway Patrol officers went to the Santa Cora Avenue apartment, where a property manager informed them that the resident and her family had moved to a townhouse on Currant Way in the Eastlake neighborhood, CVPD spokesman Bernard Gonzales said.

The officers also learned that the woman, an employee at San Ysidro High School, had not shown up for work for two days.

Investigators then proceeded to the Currant Way home, where they were unable to summon anyone at the front door. After the manager of the complex let them in to conduct a welfare check, officers discovered the body of a woman, a boy and a girl. They were identified as Mary Catherine Alvarez, 41, Angelica Alvarez, 12, and Jamid Alvarez, 11.

Their causes of death were not immediately clear, but the circumstances led detectives to "a strong belief that this is a murder-suicide," Gonzales told reporters.

Friends of Mary Alvarez, whose loved ones knew as Catherine, tells News 8 that she and the man who apparently killed himself had been dating, on and off, for the past five years. While they had lived together at one point, he had recently been having difficulties in their relationship, and Catherine had not invited him to move with her and her children into their new home in Chula Vista.

"We're assuming that that made him snap," said family friend Brandi Harris, "for trying to break it off, trying to get away from him."

"The Chula Vista Police Department Crimes of Violence Unit will assume the investigation into the death of the woman and children," Gonzales said. "The CHP will investigate the death of the man on the 125 freeway." 

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