CRIME

Hialeah tragedy: Man kills wife and her daughter, then shoots himself

crabin@MiamiHerald.comFebruary 19, 2014 

A man shot and killed his wife and her daughter Tuesday inside the Hialeah home the family bought only three months ago on a quiet, residential street, police said.

Though family members expressed concerns and neighbors spoke of occasional arguments, police released a statement Wednesday saying it was the first time they had responded to the beige, ranch-style home at 581 W. 40th Pl.

“There is no documented history of domestic disturbances nor domestic violence involving this family or this location,” Sgt. Eddie Rodriguez said.

Investigators believe that Juan Carlos Hernandez, 46, took his own life with a bullet after shooting and killing his wife, Onelia Canales, 43, and her daughter Jennifer Cordero, 16.

They called it a “double-murder suicide.”

Police first learned of the shooting after getting a 911 call at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday from someone who had peered into the home and claimed to have seen a body. Family members told police they were concerned because phone calls weren’t being answered or returned.

When police arrived, they found the home’s four front windows barred, as was the main entrance to the doorway, which resembled a small jail cell. Not able to get into the home, they contacted Hialeah Fire Rescue, which pried the back door open.

At that point, Hialeah police Lt. Carl Zogby said, officers entered and found three bodies and secured the scene, then retreated and went to a judge for a warrant to reenter the home.

“We make sure there’s no one alive, no one hiding, make it safe,” Zogby said.

Police didn’t reenter the home until after 10 p.m. Tuesday. During the wait, a crowd of neighbors, media, even Hialeah leaders including Mayor Carlos Hernandez and Police Chief Sergio Velazquez, paid visits.

Police did not release information about the death toll until after 2 p.m. when they confirmed that Hernandez killed his wife and her daughter.

Zogby didn’t say why detectives originally said there was only a single body inside the home.

Miami-Dade property records show Hernandez and Canales bought the three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,299-square-foot home on Nov. 14, for $335,000.

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