- Nolan Hicks American-Statesman Staff
Six hours after a sheriff’s deputy’s check on a southwestern Travis County home turned into an emergency search that ended with the discovery of two bodies, a detective walked out of the single-story brick house with a pink, heart-shaped pillow in hand.
Travis County authorities on Monday said they found a man and a young girl dead inside the home, each apparently shot. A white Audi convertible sat on the street outside of the home. Both the house and car were roped off with crime scene tape.
Neighbors said the man and his daughter who lived at the house — in the 8000 block of El Dorado Drive in the Granada Hills subdivision — were something of an enigma. The man wasn’t the sort who would stop and chat, opting instead to drive his convertible into the garage and close the door, one recalled.
The Travis County sheriff’s office declined to name the victims or provide a cause of death, pending results from the medical examiner’s office.
“The investigation is in its early stages,” said sheriff’s office spokeswoman Kristen Dark.
According to Dark, authorities received the call asking to check on the residents at the home around 5:45 a.m. When the responding deputy knocked on the door, no one answered, she said.
However, the deputy spotted something — Dark wouldn’t say what, citing the ongoing investigation — that made him believe someone inside could be in imminent danger. He entered the house and discovered the two bodies.
The family moved into the rented house about a year ago and largely kept to themselves, several neighbors said.
“I never talked to them that much,” said Christal Reimche, a woman who lives across the street with her son. Reimche described the family that lived in the house where the bodies were found as a man, wife and son. However, several other neighbors described the household as having a man and daughter.
Dark said investigators believe the deaths were an isolated incident and did not indicate a threat to the public.
So far this year, the Travis County sheriff’s office has investigated 10 homicides. The medical examiner still must determine the cause and manner of death for the man and the girl, Dark said.
If both deaths are ruled homicides, it would be the second double homicide this year. The first happened in March when a gunman shot three people near Lake Travis, fatally striking two. The suspect, Randall Burrows, 54, fled to Mississippi, where he killed himself as law enforcement officers moved in to arrest him.
The most recent homicide case for Travis County sheriff’s detectives was several months ago, when 60-year-old Steven Nurse was found dead in his home in late July. Within days, Nurse’s 24-year-old son, Skye McMillon, was charged with murder.