By Karen Brooks
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A family of five, including three children, was found dead in their north Texas home, all shot in an apparent murder-suicide, authorities said on Monday.
The official cause of death for the children, ages 10, 8 and 4, and their parents, Israel Chairez Alvarez and Guadalupe Ronquillo-Ovalle, both 33, was not immediately released.
All five had suffered gunshots to their upper torsos when they were found Sunday evening in their home in a rural area outside Rice, Texas, a tiny community 45 miles southeast of Dallas, Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner said.
A .22-caliber semi-automatic long rifle was found at the scene, he said.
Police were investigating the deaths as a murder-suicide but did not release information on who they believe pulled the trigger, according to Tanner.
Police discovered their bodies after receiving a call from a man reporting that his family was dead, according to a sheriff's department news release late Sunday.
Tanner did not release any information on the caller, saying the case was still under investigation.
Alvarez had been arrested on September 11 on misdemeanor assault charges after getting into a fight with his wife, Ronquillo-Ovalle, Tanner said. He was released after two days in jail.
(Reporting by Karen Brooks in Austin; Editing by Greg McCune and Jeffrey Benkoe)