Candlelight vigil held for victims of murder-suicide in Eastlake - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Candlelight vigil held for victims of murder-suicide in Eastlake

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Alvarez Family Memorial Fund: 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. The memorial fund has been set up at Chase Bank. The account number is: 942985300.

Chili's Fundraiser: A special fundraiser for the Alvarez family will be held at Chili's Otay Ranch at 2015 Birch Road in Chula Vista this Sunday, June 5, from noon until closing. Fifteen percent of all proceeds that day will be donated toward the Alvarez family's funeral expenses.

Funeral Arrangements: 

Vigil at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 450 Corral Canyon Road,
Bonita, on Tuesday, June 7, from 5pm to 8pm.

Funeral Services at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 450 Corral Canyon Road,
Bonita, on Wednesday, June 8 at 10am, followed by burial.

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SAN DIEGO (CNS/News 8) - Hundreds turned out Friday evening for a candlelight vigil to honor a local mother and her two children found murdered in their Eastlake home Wednesday morning.

41-year-old Catherine Alvarez, her 12-year-old daughter Angelica and 11-year-old son Hamid were found slain in their home this week. They were choked and beaten to death by the woman's estranged boyfriend, who then killed himself by leaping off a Spring Valley freeway bridge, according to autopsy results released Friday.

"This has been a real shock for us," said Chris Jaccard, brother of Catherine Alavarez's brother,  "and we want to thank each individual who has touched our lives."

"They were fun-loving, beautiful kids, and I am going to miss them very much," said Catherine's mother, Bernadette Jaccard.

The findings of the postmortem examinations on the bodies of 41-year old Catherine, Angelica, and Hamid; and the woman's former live-in lover corroborated police investigators' belief that the deaths were a case of murder-suicide.

All three slain family members were strangled by some type of cord or rope, and the female victims also suffered severe blunt-force head injuries, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office.

Alvarez's handyman ex-boyfriend, whose name has been withheld pending notification of his family, committed suicide, the agency confirmed. Family friends have identified him as Alfredo Almonte.

At Friday's candlelight vigil, the children's biological father had choice words for the man who took his kids' lives.

"I just say this: if I have to go to hell to track him down, I will," said Hamid Alvarez Sr., who now lives in Cancun.  "That was not a man: that was an animal. Animals should be in cages... or dead, like him."

The deadly domestic-violence rampage came to light after a California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer came across Alvarez's unoccupied 2001 Hyundai Elantra on an elevated stretch of state Route 125 in Spring Valley shortly before 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.

In a ravine about 150 feet below the roadway was the body of Alvarez's former boyfriend.

The CHP used registration records to trace the abandoned car to Alvarez, a special-education instructional aide at San Ysidro High School.

Unable to summon anyone at the family's Currant Way townhouse, officers got a property manager to let them in so they could conduct a welfare check.

They then found the victims' bodies in three rooms of the tri-level residence.

Police soon reached the conclusion that the four deaths were "murders and a suicide that stemmed from a relationship that went bad," Chula Vista Police Department spokesman Bernard Gonzales said.

The woman's boyfriend -- who was self-employed, doing odd jobs and construction pick-up work -- had been living with the family for an undetermined amount of time, and all four had moved in to the three-floor townhouse in a newly developed section of the Eastlake district of Chula Vista within the last several weeks, according to Gonzales.

Alvarez, a divorcee, either had broken up with the man, who was not the youngsters' father, or was actively trying to, police said.

The woman had not shown up for work for at least a day prior to the discovery of the family's deaths.

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