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Police Confirm And Detail Benoit Double Murder-Suicide

Officials have confirmed the horrifying details in the deaths of Chris Benoit and his family. In a statement by a member of the Fayetteville Sheriff’s Department, “Mr, Benoit had sometime, possibly Friday, murdered his wife by asphyxiation. Sometime shortly after that, the same for his son Daniel and sometime later … committed suicide by hanging himself in the basement area.”

Police ruled the deaths a murder-suicide a day after discovering Benoit, his wife, Nancy, and their 7-year-old son, Daniel, dead in the family’s suburban Atlanta home Monday afternoon. “We are looking at this case and ruling it as a double homicide-suicide,” Lt. Tommy Pope of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office said during an afternoon press conference outside the Benoit house.

Pope, relying on preliminary autopsy results from the state crime lab, laid out a roughly 24-hour time line that began Friday with the 40-year-old wrestler killing his wife in upstairs family room. Nancy Benoit was bound at the wrists and feet, had blood under her head and was wrapped in a towel. Fayette Count District Attorney Scott Ballard described the state of her body – face down on the hardwood floor – as “the only sign of a struggle.” Ballard continued “Her hands were bound together, her feet were bound together and there was a little blood over her face,” Ballard told ABCNews in an interview after the press conference. “The medical examiner found bruising on the small of her back and bruising on the front of her body consistent with being crushed up against the floor.”

Police say Benoit then asphyxiated their son early Saturday morning in his bedroom before killing himself in the basement using a cord from one of the weight machines either late Saturday or early Sunday. The boy was found face down in his bed and there were no handmarks on his neck, while his father was was found hanging by his neck from a weight machine.

“There was no type of suicide note within the house that we located,” Pope said. A Bible was also reportedly found near each one of the bodies. Officials also described finding many different prescription medications inside the house, but Pope said they seemed to be legally prescribed to Benoit. Additional toxicology reports could take up to two weeks to complete. Pope stated that Benoit did send a text message to a “co-worker” during the weekend, who received it several hours after it was sent. He would not disclose the contents or who it was sent to.

Scott Ballard, the District Attorney handling the case, said “I’m baffled why anybody would kill a 7 year old baby.” Ballard, who on Monday described the scene inside the house as “bizarre,” was pressed to explain the comment. “There’s a 7-year-old who’s dead,” Ballard said, “I don’t think we’ll ever be able to wrap our minds around this.” Ballard said authorities currently have no motive for the crime, and there was no suicide note found, adding that they will await the toxicology reports, but felt comfortable ruling the incident a murder-suicide.

11 Alive News in Atlanta, GA
WSBTV Channel 2 in Atlanta, GA

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