Family stunned after Garland Co. murder-suicide

GARLAND COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) - A sad day for Garland County after police said they found 50-year old Denise Ritter, her 49-year-old husband David, and their 23-year-old son Jonathan with fatal gunshot wounds Tuesday night as part of a double-murder suicide.

Deputies said they received a call from a woman at 6:42 p.m. on Tuesday asking for a wellness check, saying she hadn't heard from the family since Saturday.

"There was no indication that anything like this was going to take place," said Don Ritter, who was David's father, and lives next door. "Jonathan didn't always get along with his mother, but I didn't know there were any problems. I still don't know."

Ritter said he would go days without hearing from his son's family, so he didn't suspect anything had happened when he didn't hear from them this time around.

"Sometimes I wouldn't see David for a week or two because of the way he worked, because of the way I worked," continued Ritter. "It all came as a big surprise."

Relatives said Jonathan suffered from depression and was taking medication for it. Friends add he was a very pleasant person to talk to and interact with. But for Ritter and the rest of the family, it will be a difficult road to recovery as they mourn the loss of three loved ones.

"This is going to be something that is going to be hard to ride out. It's just not going to be easy," he said.

Authorities said they haven't identified a motive in the case, but are looking into it.

Jonathan and his father both worked at the Hot Springs Airport together. Many there say they were very well-liked and respected employees.


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