The morbid case of a mother, teenage daughter, and pet dog found dead in a Brooklyn home earlier this week is now being investigated as a possible murder-suicide, police said.
Detectives are awaiting a final determination from the Medical Examiner’s office regarding the deaths of 37-year-old Azalea Rivas and 14-year-old Azeris Wright, who lived on the 1200 block of New York Avenue.
Rivas’s 38-year-old ex-boyfriend initially found Rivas and Wright, along with their pet poodle mix terrier named Biscuit, dead inside the Little Haiti home at about 2:33 p.m. on Sept. 25.
According to sources familiar with the investigation, the ex-boyfriend, who had known Rivas since high school, had rushed to the location after not hearing from her in several days. When he did not get a reply after several knocks, he apparently broke open the door to the apartment, and made the disturbing discovery.
Police are probing the possibility that Rivas may have killed Wright and their dog before taking their own life. Law enforcement sources said bags were found over the heads of the teen, who had suffered blunt force trauma to her skull and a stab wound to her back, and the canine.
“It was some heavy object. A plastic bag was placed over her head probably to contain the blood and the splatter,” Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said. “The dog was placed alongside the daughter, almost staged.”
Police believe Rivas died as a result of a puncture wound to the lung. However, she also suffered what was believed to be self-inflicted slashes to her wrists and neck.
According to those who knew Rivas personally, the mother was involved in a New Jersey car collision in 2016 and since that time had undergone some mental health issues. Police sources do not believe money issues or relationship issues played a part in the grizzly deaths.
The investigation remains ongoing.