Police: Mother, Child Found Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide

January 12, 2017 Updated: January 12, 2017

Authorities in Florida say a mother, a former U.S. Marine, and her 9-year-old daughter have been found dead after a murder-suicide in Fort Lauderdale.

Local news outlets report that detectives say a family member found the bodies of 46-year-old Ericka Joseph and her daughter, Akili Joseph, inside their home on Tuesday morning.

Investigators believe Ericka Joseph shot and killed her daughter before turning the gun on herself.

Ericka Joseph’s brother, Tony Williams, told news outlets that she was divorced and retired from the military. He says Akili lived with her father in Bogota, Colombia, and was visiting for the holidays.

The SunSentinel reports the father was supposed to pick her up Tuesday to return home.

“He was here to pick up,” Williams told the Sun Sentinel. “The pickup routine was uncharacteristic—that’s how we came about to learn .”

“We recently started noticing minor changes, but not to a significant point that it would distress , that it would be something of this nature, to take a life,” Williams told the station.

Police said Akili would have turned 10 in April.

“My niece was a vibrant young girl and she loved sports. She was outgoing and smart,” Williams added to the Sun Sentinel. “It’s sad, a tragedy, and we still don’t know what happened as of right now.”

Epoch Times contributed to this report.