Authorities in Charles County, Maryland, say a father who was supposed to return his toddler daughter to her mother after his court-ordered visitation fatally shot the girl and then himself at a La Plata park Sunday evening.
WASHINGTON — Authorities in Charles County, Maryland, said a father shot and killed his daughter, then himself at a La Plata park on Sunday.
The Charles County Sheriff’s office said 33-year-old Brian Duncan Davis was supposed to return his 3-year-old daughter, Maddie Sabre Davis, to her mother after a court-ordered visitation that evening.
When he didn’t show up and no one could reach him, family members grew concerned and began searching for them.
They found his truck at Gilbert Run Park on Charles Street in La Plata and called police. Officers arrived at the park shortly after 7:30 p.m. Sunday and discovered the bodies of Davis and his daughter inside. Investigators also found a handgun inside the truck.
Diane Richardson, a spokeswoman with the sheriff’s office, said investigators believe Davis shot the girl and then himself inside the truck, which was backed into a corner in a parking lot at the top of a hill.
The sheriff’s office said it is still investigating what led to the shooting.
“It’s not really clear why it happened, at least for us at this point,” Richardson told WTOP. “As you can imagine, it was difficult to talk to family members last night. ”
Richardson said investigators are combing through public records for any information. Richardson said the girl’s mother had sought a protective order in April 2017 but she said she didn’t believe it went through the final stages. She said she was unsure if there were any recent issues between the couple regarding the court-ordered visitation.
“It’s early in the investigation,” Richardson said. “There are so many questions. We don’t have all the answers, and I imagine as the investigation moves forward, we might be able to find out more answers as to what compelled him to do this.”
Below is a map of where the park is located:
WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report.
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