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Deaths of two teen girls, father in Renton still unclear after autopsy

RENTON, Wash. — It’s still unclear why two teenage girls and their father were found dead inside their South King County duplex on Saturday, according to Renton police.

>> 3 found dead inside Renton home

“Obviously, something killed them. We don’t know what,” Det. Robert Onishi said. “We don’t often have death scenes where we have multiple bodies and no apparent, approximate cause.”

The King County Medical Examiners Office could not determine a manner of death for the three victims on Monday, according to Renton Police. Further laboratory and scientific testing is underway and will take weeks.

The teen victims, a 16-year-old and 17-year-old, had been living with their father in Renton. Their mother, who lives in Everett, called 911 to ask about their whereabouts.

“She had heard through the grapevine that they were in danger of being evicted because nobody had paid the rent for a while,” Onishi said.

Officers went to the home and didn’t see anything alarming. They talked to neighbors who told police they hadn’t seen the girls or their father “for a while,” according to Onishi.

The mother later went to the duplex herself, Onishi said.

“She looked through a back window. There was somebody sitting next to the couch, but she wasn’t able to make out anything else,” he said.

That’s when the landlord stopped by and went inside, according to Onishi.

“He opened the door, realized there were two people unresponsive sitting in the living room next to the couch,” he said. “It turned out to be the 16 and 17 year old who were dead in the living room. (Officers) also checked the rest of the apartment and found there was a male upstairs who we believe was their father.”

Onishi said identifying the man was initially difficult because “his driver’s license was older. He also lost quite a bit of weight.”

The initial investigation found:

  • No evidence of trauma or foul play
  • No evidence of forced entry
  • No evidence of carbon monoxide poisoning
  • No evidence of drug use

Onishi also said the only criminal history the man had with Renton police was a traffic infraction.

Andres Diaz, who lives next to where the three people were found dead, said the teenage girls appeared to be moving out of their duplex.

“I don’t know if there was a problem or what happened because about a month ago, it looked like they were preparing to move. But they never moved,” Diaz said. “I’m trying to understand what happened here.”

Onishi confirmed previous observations by neighbors, telling KIRO 7, “There had been some kind of rental truck, U-Haul truck there weeks ago.”

Diaz also said he and his family hadn’t seen the teenage girls for more than a week, but added, “you didn’t see them much. They were quiet.”

Onishi added more information will be clear once the toxicology reports conclude in a few weeks. Until then, investigators are working to solidify a timeline.

“When did you last talk to these people? When did you last see them? Did you notice anything that was out of the ordinary or any observations you had? We’d ask that they call Renton Police at 425-430-7500 and refer to case 21-12197,” he said.