Crossbow Killing Spree: Six Months After Pedro Maldonado Killed His Family, Police Records Reveal New Details
After fleeing the room for the McDonald's, Jose began thinking his father might kill himself. So he sped back to the motel and screamed at his father: "Why did you try to kill me?"
In response, Pedro just stood there, blank-faced in the doorway. Somehow, the two then got into Pedro's black 2010 Volvo SUV and drove to get medical help. Pedro explained he'd brought along the crossbow to sell for rent money. It had accidentally fired, the father claimed. He figured the shot was fatal, so he'd tried to choke Jose to put him out of his misery.
Jose told police that he believed his father. He just wasn't willing to swallow the alternative. When they pulled up to the clinic, Pedro handed his son $400 for the medical bills, dropped him off, and drove away.
The two spoke by phone around 3 p.m. "I'm not well," Pedro told his son. "I'm sorry, but I've done something terrible. Your mother and brother are dead."
That same day, Pedro was scheduled to meet another Ecuadoran expat, a business consultant named Edison Enderica. The men had been working on the Maldonados' residency paperwork. But Pedro never made the appointment. At 4:07 p.m., Enderica's phone buzzed with a call from Pedro. In a desperate voice, he told his friend to jot down Jose's phone number.
"Look after him," Pedro said. "I've committed a barbaric act. I've killed my son and my wife. They're home."
Enderica dialed 911. BSO deputies were soon at the family's two-story townhouse at 4266 Vineyard Circle. A note from a concerned friend who hadn't heard from the family for a few days was still stuck to the front door. Officers noticed the windows were covered in condensation from the air conditioner, which was running full-blast. No one answered the door after repeated knocks.
Around 6:30 p.m., police called Jose in Tallahassee. "I've just lost my fucking family," he told the officer on the other end before relaying what had happened that morning and his father's confession. BSO SWAT entered the house ten minutes later through the unlocked garage door. Inside, they found the body of 17-year-old Pedro Jr. and 47-year-old Monica, both lying in their respective bedrooms.
Twenty minutes later, BSO rang up law enforcement in Columbia County, midway between Tallahassee and Jacksonville. Maldonado's cell-phone provider had last pinged the number near Lake City. Police began scouring the county for Maldonado's SUV.
The Volvo was spotted around 11 p.m. in the parking lot of a two-story motel just off I-75. The staff told police that Pedro had checked into a room on the second floor that morning. The area was evacuated. A police perimeter was set up. Negotiators tried to call Maldonado's cell and room phones. Finally, a SWAT officer crashed into the room through the front windows.
Pedro Maldonado was sprawled naked between the bathroom and the room's sink area. The entire motel room was splattered with blood and discarded clothing. Near the body lay a nearly empty bottle of Smirnoff vodka and a bloody paring knife. Police located the crossbow in the Volvo.
Jose, the only survivor, could not be contacted for this story. His cell phone has been disconnected, and he did not reply to a Facebook message. According to BSO's Curcio, the young man was considering a return to Ecuador. Throughout such a horrific situation, he was calm and mature.
"He didn't have any bad feelings toward his dad," Curcio explains. "He thought his father was acting irrationally out of love for his family, not out of hate."