SCSO: Woman kills family, pets in Bella Vista murder-suicide

The Shasta County Sheriff's Office has released its report on the Bella Vista murder-suicide, which alleges that the mother and wife of the victims was the murderer.

On Sunday, January 7, around 5 p.m., Cal Fire and deputies responded to a structure fire at 11935 Bella Vista Court in Bella Vista. During the initial investigation, four bodies were found inside the home. All four adults were found to have gunshots wounds. According to deputies, evidence located indicated the deaths were a result of a possible murder-suicide.

Autopsies were conducted on all of the victims and they were identified as Teresa Mae Wilson, 68, Gary Lynn Wilson, 69, Ellis Leroy Wilson II, 44, and Zoe Lynn (Burnett) Wilson, 20. Gary and Teresa were married, and their son Ellis was married to Zoe. All of them lived at the home.

Investigators have determined that the deaths of Gary, Ellis and Zoe were homicides. They noted that all three of them had multiple gunshots and autopsy results indicated that they died before the fire since they had no signs of smoke inhalation.

During the autopsy, Teresa was found to have signs of smoke inhalation, indicating that she was alive during the time of the fire.

Deputies stated that shells were found near the bodies from a .380 caliber handgun. Projectiles found in the home and during the autopsies were all similar in characteristics and size to .380 caliber ammunition.

Based upon the circumstances and evidence discovered during the investigation, Teresa is the suspect in the homicides of Gary, Ellis and Zoe Wilson. Alongside the family, a total of three dogs were found deceased inside the residence from gunshot wounds and two cats were found deceased from smoke inhalation and debris from fire damage.

Investigators said that no evidence or information has been discovered that any other person(s) are responsible for the deaths and fire.

After a comprehensive investigation, Cal Fire and Shasta County Fire Department, in cooperation with the Shasta Arson Task Force, have determined the cause of the fire to be arson.

The circumstances regarding why the shooting and fire occurred are still under investigation. Follow up investigations with surviving family members has revealed there has been long-term tension within the household and due to this tension, it is believed Teresa may have reacted and committed the acts.

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