Man shot dead wife,12-year-old daughter after sending heartbreaking email to parents explaining why: 'I do this to protect Emma'
BALLSTON SPA, NEW YORK: A 46-year-old British man, who relocated to the United States was found dead with a gunshot wound to his chest on December 14 last year. The bodies of his wife and daughter were also recovered from the site, suggesting that it was a case of double murder-suicide, an inquest heard.
Welfare officers were sent to Steven Jones's house after the owners of the company he worked for - GlobalFoundries - became concerned that something had happened to him when he did not turn up for work. When the police broke the doors of his house down and entered his living room, they found Jones dead on the floor with a 12-gauge shotgun by his side.
"On December 14, 2018, Jones's employer raised concerns for his welfare and this led to the police attending Jones' home address. The police looked through the windows and in the end, gave entry to the property by forcing the french doors. Once inside the property it was then they quickly discovered the body of Jones that was lying on the floor in the sitting room. He had a gunshot wound to his chest and a shotgun by his side, he was clearly deceased at that time. There was further investigation in the property which led to the police discovering two further bodies, one Jones' wife Jennifer, and the other his daughter Emma, both of whom suffered multiple gunshot wounds," senior coroner Nicola Mundy said at the inquest, Daily Mail reported.
The walls of the house were splattered with blood while the floors were littered with empty bullet shells.
Since there were no "suspicious circumstances" surrounding the Joneses death, the investigators reached the conclusion that the 46-year-old man had murdered his family members before turning the gun on himself. To reach the conclusion, they also took into account the email that Jones had sent to a family friend of more than 40 years, Kenneth Petch, which was addressed to his parents, with the subject line: "Please relay this to Roy and Rita."
The mail read: "Hi mum and dad, this is Steve. I do this to protect Emma. It's taken me 18 years but I realize that I have wandered down the wrong path with the wrong person and that I have been manipulated for too long. I cannot bear the thought of this happening to a special 12-year-old and if I don't intervene, she will be left to the wolves all alone. You were wonderful parents, none of this is your fault or could have been prevented. I'm sorry to produce such chaos but hopefully, there are good memories too. I remember many happy times during our visits. You always made us feel welcome and loved. Please focus on the good times, there were truly many good times. I do this to protect Emma. Love Steve."
Jones's parents told the authorities that their son was a "family man" and they were not aware of him going through any "financial, health or marital difficulties." However, when he had called a few days prior to the shootings, he did not seem his "usual chirpy self," they noted. His parents received a Christmas card, calendar and selection of five photos of Jones' family looking happy together, a few days after news of the deaths was broken to them. The items were post stamped December 12.
PC Katie Baines, of South Yorkshire Police, said in her statement that police in America had found no suspicious circumstances and were treating the tragedy as a double-murder suicide.