'Our hearts are broken:' Family of four dead in murder-suicide identified

Family provided this photo of Samantha Field and her daughter, Ava, and son, Ashen. (Family photo)

SPANAWAY, Wash. - A 29-year man called 911 just before 1 a.m. Tuesday to say he had killed his wife and two small children in their home near Spanaway.

The 911 operators tried, without success, to call him back as a SWAT team and deputies from the Pierce County Sheriff's Department rushed to the home in the 5700 block of 209th Street East.

Inside, they found all four family members dead. The only survivor was the family dog.

It's believed that the children - a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy - were shot while they were sleeping. Their 32-year-old mother was also shot while in bed, according to sheriff's officials.

The 29-year-old man, who was in the Air Force, was also found dead.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner's office has identified the children as Ava and Ashen. The mother was identified as Samantha Field, and her husband as Clint Field.

"Out hearts are broken," Field's father, Tom Reardon, said in a statement. "We lost half our family in one person's selfish act."

A motive is unknown. Police said their background check of the home showed that there had been no previous problems at the residence.

The man also sent a text message to his father before taking his life, authorities said. His father contacted law enforcement.

But Detective Ed Troyer of the Sheriff's Department said investigators have learned that the man had been upset and had a past incident in which he mentioned suicide. He had apparently sought treatment for depression.

Troyer said family members say the couple may have had a divorce proceeding about to start.

Reardon, the murdered woman’s father, said he never heard of any marital troubles between the couple. He also had no idea no idea his son-in-law may have struggled with suicidal thoughts.

The man was stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He had been deployed to Korea and returned 14 months ago, Troyer said.

He is from Florida, and his wife is from New Hampshire.

The Sheriff's Department is partnering with police from JBLM as they further investigate the incident.

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