The Navarro County Sheriff’s Office says a father allegedly killed his 8-year-old daughter and wife in a murder-suicide.
According to KXXV, police officials received a call around 2:20 p.m. on Thursday, February 9, to conduct a welfare check on a family of three at their home in Corsicana, Texas on Southeast County Road 1090.
Relatives stated that they hadn’t heard from the family in quite some time.
Upon arrival, detectives discovered the bodies of 46-year-old Jefferson Stovall, Penny Stovall, 43, and their 8-year-old daughter, MaKenzie.
It was reported that the father allegedly shot his wife and daughter before turning the gun on himself. A.44 Magnum rifle was found at the crime scene.
A.44 Magnum rifle was found at the crime scene.
Sheriff Elmer Tanner stated: “Any time you’re dealing with the needless loss of life, especially a child of 8 years of age, [an] innocent 8-year-old, it’s a traumatic experience for the community.”
“But it’s also [important] that we keep our officers in your thoughts and prayers because it’s troubling for the officers to investigate such a scene.”
“It’s very uncommon to go to a scene like this where you find the entire family deceased. There’s no explanation,” Tanner continued. “There’s nothing we can say for the family.”
Initially, detectives thought it was a “medical call” after piercing through one of the windows and seeing a body on the floor. It wasn’t until they entered the Stovall family home that they uncovered it was a murder-suicide.
A motive for the murder-suicide has not been determined and police officials say the family has no reports of violence at the home prior to the incident.
A detective stated that there was “a presence of alcohol at the scene” but they were reluctant to say whether or not it play a contributing factor in the crime.
The alleged murder-suicide left the community in shock who called the incident a “selfish act.”
Several members of the community stated that preventing this kind of crime can be preventable if the victims learn how to “ask for help or know when help is needed.”
Corsicana resident Lori Haynie said: “Any time something like that happens, it affects much of our community. We’re a pretty small community, about 25,000 people. Everybody’s very close. It’s very gut-wrenching. I didn’t know the people. It’s a child. An eight-year-old child. And her life has been ended.”
“It just affects everybody, even if you didn’t know the people. If you need help, reach out for help. Don’t do something that is going to affect other people.”
A social media user stated: “These murders are not mysteries. They are predictable and largely preventable. There is always a history of controlling (and abusive) behaviors by the murderer, and 99 percent of the time the victim (woman) indicated she wanted to exit the relationship, the most dangerous time for fatal violence, even if there was no prior evidence of physical violence.”
“Any woman desiring to exit an abusive relationship with a controlling partner should seek out a domestic violence agency to strategize a safety plan, especially if her partner has access to a gun, which is shown to increase odds of a woman being killed by a controlling partner 500 percent.”
People reports that the child, who was reportedly murdered by her father, was a second grader at Mildren Elementary School. When the school learned of MaKenzie’s untimely death, they released the following message in a Facebook post:
“As a family, we are devastated to learn about the reported loss of a second grader from Mildred Elementary. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family.”
“Additional counselors and support will be available to meet the needs of our students and staff tomorrow,” the message continued. “Please keep the student’s family as well as our Mildred ISD family in your thoughts and prayers. Be blessed.”
An investigation is ongoing.
[Featured Image By Brian A. Jackson/iStock]