On Sunday, a family of five drowned after their SUV crashed into an Arizona lake.
As reported earlier by the Inquisitr, witnesses saw the vehicle drive into Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, Arizona, on October 17. At 12:15 a.m. Arizona authorities and medical rescue units raced to the scene. Two of the witnesses and three police officers jumped into the lake to rescue the passengers trapped inside the car.
The officers pulled two small children out of the lake, who were later identified as Zariyah Baxter and Nazyiah Baxter. The sister and brother were 1-year-old and 2-years-old, respectively.
A mother and father, Danica and Glenn Baxter, were also pulled out of the lake. All four members of the family were unconscious. The medical unit present attempted CPR and life-saving measures on the family, but infortunately all four were later pronounced dead a the hospital.
Once the family was brought to the hospital, it was discovered that a third child, a little boy named Reighn, was unaccounted for. At around 10 a.m., the Tempe Fire Dive Team found and extricated the body of 3-year-old Reighn, who was still buckled into his car seat and wearing pajamas.
Initially, it was unclear as to whether or not the crash was intentional. After a thorough investigation into the incident, Tempe Police have discovered that the father, Glenn Baxter, deliberately drove the SUV, with his wife and three small children inside it, into Tempe Town Lake. The investigation of the crash has been labeled a murder-suicide, and is still ongoing as Tempe Police continue to look into this tragic affair.
Arizona authorities were able to determine that the crash into the lake was intentional after reviewing the surveillance video from a nearby condo.
In the video, Glenn is clearly seen exiting the SUV and walking to the road. It looks like he is trying to identify the best route into the lake. When he reenters the vehicle, he backs it up, then heads straight for the lake.
Tempe Police spokesman, Lt. Mike Pooley, said the the SUV hit an embankment before going airborne and flipping upside down into the lake.
As reported by Arizona Central, authorities investigating the crash discovered that the couple were estranged. Danica had drawn up divorce papers and had separated from her husband. Supposedly, the couple was together at the time of the crash to discuss their three children. Lt. Pooley says that after reviewing text messages from Danica’s phone, which was found under a bench nearby, it seemed as though the estranged wife had no idea what her husband had planned.
Absolutely heartbreaking news, one of the hardest i've done.— Michael Pooley (@LtMikePooley) October 18, 2015
A close friend of Danica, Monika Lynn Nathan, said in an interview that Danica was filing for divorce from Glenn. Nathan indicated that she didn’t feel that her friend was safe, and suggested the woman get orders of protection because her husband “had anger issues.”
Though a handgun had been found inside the vehicle during the investigation into the crash, neither the wife nor their three small children suffered gunshot wounds. Because the survelliance video was not clear, authorities couldn’t tell if the handgun was used in the crime as a means of a threat. However, it was determined that Danica was not incapacitated at the time her husband drove her and her children into the lake
Tempe Police were asked if they had any insight as to why the mother didn’t try to flee from the vehicle while Glenn was pacing outside of it. Lt. Pooley said that they have no idea.
“We have asked that question ourselves about a hundred times. We don’t know.”
In 2012, Glenn had been charged with aggravated assault, but the charges had been dismissed because of lack of evidence.
Arizona authorities are continuing to investigate into the events that led up to the horrific Tempe Town Lake crash.
[Image via AzCentral/Twitter]