Man who was engaged in a custody battle for 3-year-old son fatally shoots him and family dog before killing himself

Ryan Propes' family is confused as to what brought him to the point where he murdered his son and killed himself, given he seemed very happy the last time they talked to him

A New Mexico man shot his three-year-old son and the family dog before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide, reports said. Ryan T. Propes, 33, was found dead by the authorities, who were doing a welfare check on him, on Thursday. His body was lying next to his victims, revealed Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, from where the deputies went to Propes’ home after receiving a 911 call.

According to reorts, the person who made the emergency call, reportedly received an email from Propes, in which he had threatened to kill himself. Although he was not named by the authorities, SFCSO spokesman Juan Rios confirmed that the three-year-old’s name was Owen and that his mother was not at home during the incident.

Propes was reportedly engaged in a custody battle for Owen with his mother, who he was never married to, since December of 2018. She was seeking custody and child support from Propes, who was a no-show for the custody hearing which was held on Wednesday, a day before the bodies were found.

Ryan Propes' body was found next to that of his victims at their New Mexico home on January 17 (Facebook)

Propes’ mother Jan Ferrari and father Roger Propes have confirmed their son moved to New Mexico, from Texas six years prior, and was self-employed. He first worked at a bakery and fixing bikes before shifting to construction. Ferrari claims she spoke to her son a week ago, and he “seemed quite happy.”

“I’ve been up there a few times and spent time with Owen,” Santa Fe New Mexican quotes her as saying. “He was a wonderful kid.”

Meanwhile, Roger Propes was quoted by Albuquerque Journal as saying, “He was a bright and extremely active child. They lived a very outdoorsy kind of life. They loved being on that mountain and out in nature.” Although she says she does not know the specifics of her son’s current relationship with Owen’s mother, he apparently mentioned to her that they were separated and trying to come to an understanding regarding their son’s custody.

Ryan Propes' parents, who are Texas residents, claim that he seemed happy the last time they spoke and that he loved his son Owen (Twitter)

Roger Props, who is confused by the situation, claims that his son loved his grandson “very, very much,” also said, “It’s a really sad, unfortunate situation, I love my son dearly, and I’m devastated. I’m really caught by surprise by this whole thing. He was a really, really good man. I don’t know what brought him to this point.”

Authorities are waiting for the autopsy results and are currently in the process of interviewing Propes’ family members.