Authorities have confirmed that WWE star Chris Benoit, his wife (former WCW/ECW personality Nancy “Woman” Daus Sullivan Benoit) and their 7-year-old son, Daniel, were found dead at their home in Fayetteville, Georgia earlier today. News reports are quoting authorities as saying the death of Chris Benoit, his wife Nancy, and son Daniel, is being investigated as a homicide by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department pending results of a preliminary autopsy report that will come out tomorrow. Autopsies have been scheduled for Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. However, it could be weeks before there is a conclusive result regarding the deaths of the Benoit family.
Benoit missed Saturday night’s SmackDown/ECW house show. Sources backstage say that Benoit had called WWE officials to say that he had a family emergency and couldn’t attend the show. Come Sunday, he kept pushing his flights back later and later until he finally realized that he was not going to be able to make it in time for the Vengeance pay-per-view in Houston, Texas. After numerous attempts by a WWE official to reach Benoit throughout the day, this afternoon, they asked authorities to check his residence. The lieutenant on the case, Lt. Tommy Pope, told ABC News that Benoit had missed some appointments over the weekend, leading concerned individuals within WWE to ask police to do a “welfare check” on him. Sources say Benoit was in contact with one friend backstage in what was considered to be an odd text message late last night. The nature of the message might have created a sense of urgency by mid-day today when no one was able to reach him.
When authorities arrived at the Benoit family residence earlier this afternoon, they found Benoit, his wife, and their son dead. According to the lieutenant, there was no sign of gunshot wounds or stabbing. However, they are not ruling out other causes, such as poisoning, suffocation, or strangulation. The lieutenant noted that he was not confirming any of these causes — just not ruling them out at this time.
Furthermore, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution altered the paragraph of their article on the Benoit family deaths. The third paragraph of the article originally read:
“Officials would not say how the family died, other than to say they weren’t shot to death.”
The third paragraph of the article has been changed to read:
“Officials were investigating the deaths as a murder-suicide.”
Sources contributing to this story:
Updated Atlanta-Journal Constitution article >>
Additional sources contributing to this story: Pro Wrestling Torch, Wrestling Observer