Sarasota Police are now treating the case of a mother and son found dead in their home after being exposed to drain-opener chemicals as a murder-suicide.
The mother, Gertrudis Cintron, 78 and her adult son, Angel Alicea-Estrada, 58, were found unconscious about 11:30 a.m. in a home in the 2300 block of Margaret Street in Sarasota.
A family member discovered them unconscious and called 911. Neighbors said the woman rushed out, screaming hysterically.
"I told her to just calm down and breathe because she was breathing really heavily, crying," said Maria Brown-Granillo, a neighbor. "...These situations are really hard to get through especially when it's your family."
She said emergency crews arrived soon after.
"There was two ambulances in the morning," Brown-Granillo said. "And they just took the mother out. She was unconscious."
Police said one of them was pronounced dead in the home while the other was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital while still unconscious.
There was not an accidental exposure to drain opener chemicals, police said. Preliminary investigation indicates this is a potential murder suicide.
Neighbors like Terry Stark say the adult son was autistic and that he and his mother were often spotted walking in the neighborhood. He struggles to believe the investigators findings.
"I was shocked, absolutely shocked," Stark said. "I mean, who wouldn't be, you know? They were quiet people, they were nice people."
Further details regarding this investigation will be forthcoming following autopsies, police said.