Officials are attempting to find out what caused a Florida man to murder his wife and son with a crossbow and wound his elder son in Tallahassee. According to police, the man then committed suicide by slitting his own throat in a hotel room.
According to the Broward County Sheriff’s office, Pedro Jose Maldonado, 53, used a handheld crossbow and arrows to kill both his 47 year old wife Monica Narváez-Maldonado and his 17 year old son, Pedro Jose Maldonado Jr., in their home in the 4200 block of Vineyard Circle of Weston, near Fort Lauderdale.
Maldonado then reportedly got into his SUV and drove 450 miles to Tallahassee, where he shot and wounded his elder son, 21 year old Jose, with the crossbow.
The Sheriff’s office told the media that Maldonado tried to kill his elder son with the crossbow and arrow, but Jose apparently turned, and the arrow hit and injured his ear. Apparently Maldonado then tried to choke Jose, but he struggled and managed to get away from his father. Jose then fled the scene.
Apparently Jose, who is a student at Florida State University, did not report the attack to the police.
The Broward County Sheriff’s office described the weapon as a “hand-held crossbow that shoots small arrows.”
At that time, no one was aware of the crimes that had occurred. However, Maldonado reportedly called a friend late on Tuesday afternoon, who then alerted officials to the fact that something was wrong.
The friend said that Maldonado had confessed to him about the murder of his wife and son with a crossbow and that he intended to commit suicide himself.
A SWAT team from the Broward County Sheriff’s office then went to the Maldonado home and found the bodies of both Monica and Pedro Jr.
The police then tracked his vehicle to a hotel room at the Cabot Lodge Motel in Lake City, around 100 miles east of Tallahassee, that Maldonado had rented. Maldonado’s black 2013 Volvo SUV was in the parking lot.
Initially the SWAT team evacuated the hotel and a Crisis Negotiation Team attempted to contact Maldonado at around 11 p.m., without success.
The SWAT team then entered the room at around 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning, finding Maldonado dead in the bathroom. He had committed suicide by a self-inflicted knife wound to the throat.
Fellow students at the Cypress Bay High School had thought that something had gone wrong on Tuesday night when Pedro Jr., who plays the drum with the school band, missed the school’s winter concert. A friend said that they sent him several text messages with no response, and had to carry on with the concert without him.
In the meantime, Maldonado’s surviving son, Jose, has been in touch with the Ecuador consulate in Miami for assistance in transporting his family members’ bodies back to their home country.
Although the police did not release a motive for the family murder, Maldonado may have suffered a recent business loss and was possibly worried about the financial situation of his family. He had apparently been running a business that exported police supplies to South America.
The Sheriff’s Office said that all the family’s visas had expired, which may have opened the possibility of deportation back home to Ecuador.
The rather drastic situation Maldonado found himself in may have caused him to murder his wife and son with the crossbow, and then commit suicide himself.
By Anne Sewell