According to lead investigator Lt. Tommy Pope, of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department, in Fayetteville, Ga., the deaths of WWE Superstar Chris Benoit, wife Nancy and son Daniel were the result of a double murder-suicide, WWE.com has learned.
Benoit failed to appear both at Saturday’s live event in Beaumont, Tx., and WWE’s Vengeance: Night of Champions in Houston Sunday night, after informing WWE of a family emergency. Several curious text messages sent by Benoit early Sunday morning prompted concerned friends to alert Richard Hering, VP of Government Relations for WWE, Inc. Hering, in turn, spoke with Fayette County sheriffs Monday, and requested that they respond to the Benoit residence to check on him and his family.
Authorities representing the Sheriff’s Department initially had a difficult time entering Benoit’s new Fayetteville home Monday afternoon, which had been guarded by two large German Shepherds roaming freely around the property. Once authorities entered the residence, they quickly located the bodies of Benoit, Nancy and Daniel. WWE was notified of the discovery at approximately 4 p.m.
At 10 p.m. Monday night, Lt. Pope held a press conference in conjunction with Scott Ballard, the district attorney for Fayette County. The press conference officially ruled authorities’ findings as a double murder-suicide from within the home.
WAGA, a FOX-owned and operated television station in Atlanta, reported that investigators believe Benoit killed his wife and 7-year-old son over the weekend, then himself on Monday.
The three bodies have been received by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab, in Decatur, Ga., where autopsies will be performed Tuesday morning. Toxicology reports will not become available for at least two weeks.
WWE.com has further information relating to both the investigation and the cause of death, but the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department has requested that WWE.com not release any additional details at this time.
Wade Keller’s Audio Summary from PWTorch.com:
-He said it is being reported he suffocated his wife and son, perhaps a day apart. And then hung himself. Late Sunday night, he sent a strange text message to a person within the WWE. The police broke into the house at 2:30 pm today and found them in separate rooms.
-Vince called all the wrestlers backstage this afternoon for an emergency meeting. Wrestler were already bawling and crying. A longtime WWE wrestler said it was the most emotional state he’s ever seen the wrestlers.
-There was a really uneasy feeling Sunday. Everybody felt something was wrong.
-One wrestler said “It was bound to happen”. There was a strong suspicion backstage that Benoit did this right away. There was also a suspicion that Nancy had done it. They had a volatile relationship and everyone knew it.
-Hardly anybody backstage really knew Benoit. He had a very small inner circle that one time included Eddy Guerrero and recently included Chavo Guerrero. But even they had a certain psychological distance from Benoit. Everyone could tell that something wasn’t right lately with Benoit.
-He said that he was a very nice and pleasant person to be around, but a person close to Benoit said that Chris had “snap potential”.
-A lot of steroids were found in the Benoit household, and Benoit has had bouts with “roid rages”. WWE may suffer publicly because of their unenforced “Wellness Policy”.