Autopsies: Drowning killed victims of familial murder-suicide - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Autopsies: Drowning killed victims of familial murder-suicide

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Drowning was the cause of death of all four members of a Skyline family wiped out in a domestic murder-suicide last spring, according to autopsy results released Wednesday.

Postmortem exams for 44-year-old Alfredo Pimienta, his 37-year-old wife, Georgina, and their daughters, Emily, 9, and Priscilla, 17, showed that the woman and girls were forcibly drowned and that the man took his own life, according to the county Medical Examiner's Office.

A relative visiting the Pimientas' rented Parkcreek Court home spotted two of the family members' bodies in their backyard pool and hot tub about 6:30 a.m. May 24, according to San Diego police.

Patrol officers found Alfredo Pimienta and his daughters dead in the water, SDPD Lt. Ernie Herbert said. The body of Georgina Pimienta was inside the home, in a bathtub.

Autopsies determined that the woman and the girls were slain and that Alfredo Pimienta killed himself by throwing himself into the pool, handcuffed and with a weight -- a tow hitch -- attached to his neck by a wire.

Both parents appeared to have planned the crime, according to police and the Medical Examiner's Office. A number of notes "of suicidal and homicidal intent," appearing to have been written by two people, were found in the Pimientas' house in English and Spanish, according to the reports.

It remained unclear if the husband and wife both took part in the murders of their daughters.

Friends and relatives of the family told reporters the parents had been increasingly worried and distressed in recent months over serious financial problems they were facing.

The relative who discovered the bodies told police Alfredo Pimienta, a tow-truck operator, had arranged to meet him at the family's home early that morning, supposedly to discuss a business transaction, the homicide lieutenant said.

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