Four found dead in Lexington County
The new year got off to a deadly and tragic start in Lexington County after four persons were found dead Sunday night in an apparent murder-suicide.
The dead included two children, their mother, and a man believed to be the children’s father – and also possibly the culprit.
Autopsies have been scheduled for Tuesday to determine the exact causes of death. But Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher said all four victims were shot to death Sunday around 8 p.m. at a residence in the 1100 block of Old Barnwell Road near Emanuel Church Road, located in the vicinity of Lexington’s Three Fountains community.
Fisher identified the victims as Marissa Hope Reynoso, 26, of West Columbia, along with two of her children – 4-year-old Elijah Chavez and 1-year-old Ezra Chavez. Also found dead was Jorge Luis Chavez, 25, of Honduras.
Reynoso had another older child who was not present in the home at the time of the incident and was unharmed, said Fisher, who did not provide further details.
Details late Sunday were scarce, but Lexington County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Colby Gallagher said during an impromptu press conference near the crime scene shortly after midnight that deputies had responded to a call around 8:30 p.m. and found the victims inside the home.
Upon discovery of the bodies, the sheriff’s department initiated a search for Chavez as a “person of interest” and had asked the public to be on the lookout for him, even disseminating a photo of him on social media, before Fisher ultimately determined several hours later he was among the dead.
The incident shut down a portion of Old Barnwell Road through the wee hours of Monday morning, as deputies continued to process the crime scene and search the home.
Sheriff’s department spokesman Capt. Adam Myrick said Monday morning the investigation into whether Chavez was responsible for the deaths was still underway, but said early indications were that the incident did appear to be a murder-suicide.
He declined any other details pending further investigation.
For updates, check back with Cola Daily.