Coroner: Elkhart County couple's deaths ruled a murder-suicide
Five children left without their mother after investigators say their father, shot and killed her then turned the gun on himself.
The county coroner has ruled that death investigation out of Baugo Township in Elkhart County as a murder-suicide.
ABC57 News learned the 31-year-old mother had allegedly been abused by the suspect in the past.
The father, 38-year-old Alberto Avelino’s had a domestic violence case on his record.
In 2014 Avelino was charged with domestic battery, battery on a child, among other things.
As part of a plea deal, the court suspended his sentence and placed Avelino on probation.
Susana’s sister, Ana Sebastian, admits this couple wasn’t good for each other anymore.
“They had a lot of problems,” she said.
Sebastian tried to hold back her tears Monday as she tried to explain how she felt now that her sister is gone. “I don’t think I can do this,” said Sebastian.
On Saturday, just before 2 p.m. Susana Alvarez and Alberto Avelino were found dead inside a van in a vacant lot in Baugo Township.
Elkhart County Sheriff’s Captain Jeff Siegle said, “It appears from the evidence of the scene and autopsy that she was the victim of the homicide and he was the victim of the suicide.”
An autopsy states both died of single gunshot wounds to the head. According to Captain Siegle the weapon was found on scene. “There was a firearm located in the vehicle and two shell casings,” he said.
The victims were parents of five children and now Sebastian has taken full responsibility of all of them.
“We’re ready to give them the love my sister would want,” said Sebastian.
Sebastian adds she wants the children to stay with family instead of strangers but says the future doesn’t looks promising. “We weren’t prepared for this; we just want them to have a good life with us. We’re seeing the future and it looks tough.”
As the family prepares to fully process this loss, Sebastian holds on to the last words her sister told her.
“She said no matter what happened we were going to have a cookout on Friday to celebrate my birthday.”
She set up a GoFundMe page to help with some expenses.