The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is investigating what appears to be a murder-suicide after the bodies of Christopher and Andrea Holcombe were discovered by their teenager late Wednesday morning in their mansion at 131 Old Gate Road.
“There was a family disagreement,” Sheriff Mike Jolley said. “Alcohol was involved, or so it appears.”
Christopher Holcombe was a contractor at Fort Benning, Jolley said, and Andrea Holcombe worked at TSYS. Their 5,000-square-foot home and its 5-acre lot had a 2009 tax value of about $1 million, according to records on the Harris County Board of Tax Assessors’ Web site.
Their 15-year-old child spent Tuesday night with a friend, Jolley said, and the couple was at home with their other children, ages 5 and 1. The details of what happened that night came from the 5-year-old, who heard a gunshot, the sheriff said.
Jolley said it appears that during the argument the husband got a shotgun from the bedroom “and shot his wife and turned it on himself.” The wife was shot outside on the porch, he said.
The shooting happened some time Tuesday night, investigators deduced, because the 5-year-old told them it was dark outside at the time.
No note was discovered, Jolley said, and he didn’t know what the husband and wife were arguing about.
The sheriff said the 15-year-old found the bodies when the teen came home about 11 a.m. Wednesday. That’s when authorities were notified.
EMS Chief David McCall said the parents appeared to be in their late 30s or early 40s.
An autopsy could be conducted today, Harris County Coroner James Carver said.
The children are staying with their grandparents.
On Wednesday afternoon, after the bodies were removed from the house, a large black and brown dog sat quietly inside the house, its nose pressed against the window. It didn’t move as strangers passed back and forth in the yard.
The large swimming pool in the back was sparkling, without a leaf or twig in it. An American flag drooped from a tree in the front yard.
“A murder-suicide, it’s always a tragedy,” Jolley said. He said the father likely thought he was resolving the issue for himself, “but the issues just now start for the children.”