There were no signs that they put up a fight.
The bodies of a Weston mother and her 17-year-old son were found in their beds in the family's townhouse Tuesday.
Monica Narvaez-Maldonado, 47, and Pedro Jose Maldonado Jr. were each shot once in their heads, their wounds consistent with an arrow from a crossbow, the Broward Medical Examiner's Office said.
"[At this time], there is no way to say whether they were sleeping or surprised," said Broward Sheriff's Detective John Curcio.
Authorities released new details Thursday about how Pedro Jose Maldonado Sr., 53 — who was said to be despondent over finances and visa issues that could have sent the family back to Ecuador — killed his wife and son in their bedrooms before the teen would have risen for classes at Cypress Bay High School.
Maldonado Sr., in an apparent suicide, was found with knife wounds on his neck and wrists in a Columbia County hotel about 2 a.m. Wednesday, the Broward Sheriff's Office said.
The Broward Medical Examiner's Office said it is doing toxicology tests to make sure they weren't drugged before their deaths.
"There was no indication of a struggle for either victim," Curcio said.
After the killings Monday at the Courtyard at the Grove townhome in the 4200 block of Vineyard Circle, Maldonado Sr. drove about 470 miles to the Panhandle. He visited eldest son Jose Maldonado, 21, a student at Florida State University, at his campus apartment in Tallahassee.
About 7 a.m. Tuesday in the father's Tallahassee hotel room, they met again. The son was shot in his ear by a crossbow and his father tried to choke him, but Jose Maldonado escaped to his campus residence, BSO said.
Maldonado Sr. hit the road once more, driving about 105 miles to Lake City, where he checked into the Cabot Lodge near the intersection of U.S. Highway 90 and Interstate 75.
He called a male friend in Miami and told him what happened and the man, who BSO is not yet identifying, drove to BSO's Fort Lauderdale headquarters to report the crimes, Curcio said.
"It was key, and led us to the fact that we needed to go to the [Weston] residence to begin with," Curcio said. "He knew them for nine years, was his friend, and said [Maldonado, Sr.] gave him details about how he had killed the two victims."
BSO called FSU campus police, who found Jose Maldonado and put him in touch with detectives by phone, Curcio said.
Investigators with the Tallahassee Police and sheriff's offices in Columbia and Leon counties were helping BSO gather evidence from the other two crime scenes and Maldonado's Volvo SUV, including the missing murder weapon.
Maldonado Sr. had at least two crossbows at the Weston townhome, but Curcio said he does not think they were used during the attacks.
"I have not seen this used as a weapon before, in 34 years in law enforcement," Curcio said. "That's somewhat unique."
He said after such tragedies, "We always look for logical reasons, but sometimes there aren't any. Victims' families always wonder why, and sometimes we can't answer that question."
Maldonado Sr. was involved in several enterprises and his wife, Narvaez-Maldonado, worked as an oil industry consultant to firms in Miami, Curcio said.
The father's business associates said he had debt but was negotiating a new contract for one of his interests that included import and export of police equipment between the U.S. and South America, and oil trading, Curcio said.