Medical examiner: Renton father, two teen daughters died of starvation

KING COUNTY, Wash. — A father and his two teen daughters who were found dead inside their Renton apartment in December died from starvation, according to a report from the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Manuel Gil, 33; Adriana, 17; and Mariel, 16, were in their duplex in the 300 block of Factory Avenue North.

Last year, Carlo Papini, the co-owner of the duplex, conducted a wellness check after not seeing them for several days.

“We were concerned for the girls,” Papini told KIRO 7 during that time. “The other tenants hadn’t seen any (recent) activity.”

He found all three dead inside their apartment.

During that time, the medical examiner had determined that the girls had died on Dec. 5 — before their father, who possibly died five days later.

However, officials said there was a considerable margin of error during the initial investigation.

Police could not find any evidence of foul play, forced entry, carbon monoxide poisoning, or drug use, which had left the question open of how they had died.

During that time, investigators had delayed releasing any information pending completed blood toxicology tests, which have now revealed that all three were emaciated.

Officials said there was no food in the home and they found written materials in the apartment about fasting.

In December, the girls’ mother, Betsy Alvarado, told KIRO 7 that she had not seen her girls for months and at some point became very concerned and called 911.

After Alvarado called 911, police went to the duplex on Friday, Dec. 10. The doors were locked and there was nothing alarming officers could see from the outside, according to Renton police.

The following morning, Papini conducted a welfare check, which was when he found the girls and called 911.

Alvarado identified her girls and their father.

She told KIRO 7 that the girls “were being brainwashed by what they were calling a religion but must be a cult.”

Alvarado had said Gil was following an extremist fringe of the Black Hebrew Israelites. The Anti-Defamation League classifies some sects of the religion as hate groups.

Alvarado said things became so extreme she tried to warn the state, but nothing happened. “I called CPS,” said Alvarado. “I told them they don’t go outside, they don’t have friends; something’s going on in that house.”

Because of the circumstances, Manuel Gil’s cause of death has been ruled a suicide. The girls’ deaths were undetermined because officials had no way of determining what their state of mind and intent were.

Comments on this article