FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lt. Chris Wynn, 760-839-4700
REFERENCE CASE NUMBER 11-11756
On September 12, 2011, at approximately 0709 hours, the Escondido Police Department Communications Center received a 911 call regarding a home on fire with possible occupants inside the residence. The residence was located in the 13900 Block of Valle Lindo Road in Escondido. The Fire Department responded and began firefighting operations prior to the arrival of the Police Department. Firefighters inside the residence confirmed there were two deceased persons in one of the bedrooms.
Initially, it was believed that both decedents died of gunshot wounds. Emergency workers quickly evaluated the bodies and once death was confirmed, left the room and called for police investigators. There was a firearm located on the floor of the bedroom near one of the deceased. Upon a more detailed examination of the bodies by police and coroner investigators, it was found that only the male had died of a gunshot wound. The cause of death of the female is unknown at this time.
Throughout the course of the investigation, it was learned that the male decedent had sent out multiple notes. The contents of the notes will not be disclosed at this time, but they are indicative of a suicide attempt. Based on the information learned from the family and the physical evidence at the scene, this incident is being investigated as a murder-suicide.
It appears that the male decedent attempted to start a fire inside of the residence using gasoline. There was a strong odor of gasoline present inside the residence when emergency workers arrived at the scene.
The decedents in this incident have been identified as Fred and Virginia Silva, both of Escondido, CA.
Investigators are continuing to follow-up on leads and examine physical evidence. Although it appears to be a murder-suicide, investigators will continue to explore other possibilities and motives. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Miguel Ramirez at 760-839-4925.
To report any suspicious activities in your neighborhood, you may contact the Police Department directly, or you may make an unidentified call on our Anonymous Tip Line at 760-743-TIPS (8477) or via our Web site at police.escondido.org. For breaking news releases, please follow the Escondido Police Department on Twitter at Escondido_PD.