We’re learning more information about the former Marine suspected in a double murder suicide in Palm Springs.
Police began investigating after discovering the bodies of 59-year-old Sally Knauf of Rochester, NY, and 23-year-old Bianca Knauf of Palm Springs on Sunday, January 4, at an apartment in the Mojave Blue complex, located in the 2700 block of East Tahquitz Canyon Way.
The body of former Marine Daniel Knauf, 27, was also found in the apartment.
Officers were called to the scene at about 5:15 p.m. They said evidence at the scene suggested Daniel shot and killed the two women before shooting himself. The Riverside County Coroner’s Office still hasn’t announced when the shootings actually took place.
Daniel and Bianca’s 2-year-old son Jacob was also found in the apartment, asleep and physically unharmed.
News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 received some information from the U.S. Marine Corps regarding the discharge of Daniel Knauf. According to an official with the Marines, Daniel received an ‘Other Than Honorable’ discharge after being administratively separated.
The move came after he plead guilty and was found guilty at a Summary Court Martial on charges of wrongful use and possession of controlled substances.
The official said Daniel was sentenced to 30 days of confinement and had to forfeit 2/3 of his pay for one month. His rank was also reduced to Private. There was also no mention of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in his record.
Officials we spoke to said Daniel Knauf was never actually deployed anywhere.
Police were called by family members and an employer who had tried to reach the shooting victims. Officers said family members had called and knocked on the apartment’s front door repeatedly, but got no response. They then discovered the victims inside and immediately notified police.
Officers said they never received any reports of gunfire before they were called and family members believe the shooting may have occurred on Thursday, January 1, due to the lack of communication they had with Bianca over that time frame and due to the condition of the two-year-old boy
Jacob was removed from the home and Bianca’s mother expressed interest in seeking full custody of the boy.
Bianca Knauf grew up in Cathedral City and went to Cathedral City High School. She worked at PlumberEx in Thousand Palms.
News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 spoke with some of her coworkers on Tuesday, January 6. They ‘re having a hard time dealing with her death and said she was bright, young and happy.
Her coworkers also said she was separated from Daniel and the two were getting divorced.
According to the Rochester City School District in Rochester, NY, Daniel’s mother Sally Knauf worked as a special education teacher at Rochester’s School #41.
A school administrator sent out a letter to parents and students on Tuesday explaining the situation.
The letter reads, “It is with deep sadness that I write to you today. Sally Knauf, a dedicated and highly-regarded special education teacher at our school, died tragically this past weekend while visiting family in California.”
The release said that Ms. Knauf had been teaching for ten years and taught special education for five of those years at School 41.
According to WROC in Rochester, grief counselors will be at the school on Tuesday for students, teachers and faculty to help deal with their loss.
Stay with News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 News as more information is released.