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FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. -- WWE wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife and son were found dead Monday, and police said they were investigating the deaths as a murder-suicide.
AP Photo/WWE, HO
Pro wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife and 7-year-old son were found dead in their Georgia home.
Lt. Tommy Pope of the Fayette County Sheriff's Department said the three were found at their home about 2:30 p.m.
Pope said autopsies on Benoit, his wife Nancy, and 7-year-old son Daniel were scheduled for 10 a.m. on Tuesday. It could be weeks before there is a result.
Benoit had missed several appointments over the weekend, leading some concerned parties to ask police to do a "welfare check," Pope told ABC News. The WWE reported on its Web site on Monday night that friends received several curious text messages sent by Benoit early Sunday morning, prompting VP of Government Relations for WWE, Inc. Richard Hering to contact Fayette County sheriffs on Monday and request they check on Benoit and his family. When sheriffs arrived at the home, they found the wrestler, his wife and their son dead.
Detective Bo Turner told television station WAGA also said that the case was being treated as a murder-suicide, but he said that couldn't be confirmed until evidence was examined by a crime lab.
The station said that investigators believe the 40-year-old Benoit killed Nancy, 43, and Daniel over the weekend, then himself on Monday. The bodies were found in three rooms.
According to Pope, there were no signs of gunshot wounds or stabbing. Authorities are not ruling out other causes, such as poisoning, suffocation or strangulation.
"The details, when they come out are going to prove a little bizarre," said Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard, according to The Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
Pope told ABC News "the instruments of death were located on scene," but would not specify what those instruments are or where in the house the bodies were found. Pope added the department is "not actively searching for any suspects outside of the house."
The house is in a secluded neighborhood set back about 60 yards off a gravel road, surrounded by stacked stone wall and a double-iron gate. On Monday night, the house was dark except for a few outside lights. There was a police car in front, along with two uniformed officers.
Benoit was a former world heavyweight champion, Intercontinental champion and held several tag-team titles over his career.
"WWE extends its sincerest thoughts and prayers to the Benoit family's relatives and loved ones in this time of tragedy," the federation said in a statement on its Web site.
Benoit was scheduled to perform at the "Vengeance" pay-per-view event Sunday night in Houston, but was replaced at the last minute because of what announcer Jim Ross called "personal reasons."
Benoit, a Canadian native, maintained a home in metro Atlanta from the time he wrestled for the defunct World Championship Wrestling.
The WWE canceled its live "Monday Night RAW" card in Corpus Christi, Texas, and USA Network aired a three-hour tribute to Benoit in place of the scheduled wrestling telecast.
"My relationship with Chris has extended many years and I consider him a great friend," Carl DeMarco, the president of WWE Canada, said in a statement. "Chris was always first-class -- warm, friendly, caring and professional -- one of the best in our business."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
I say we put more messages on the records. "Kill the band, kill your parents, then yourself, ok!? Make sure you get your whole head in front of the shotgun. Thank you for calling! Thank you for calling!"
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