ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — A St. Petersburg man and his 9-year-old son died in an apparent murder-suicide at the Trellis at the Lakes Apartment Complex, according to police.
Police said they first got a call from the child’s mother Sunday afternoon when she went to 44-year-old Kevin Bybee’s apartment to pick up their son, Andres Chateau.
The mother knocked on the apartment’s door and called Bybee but got no response, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.
“He was spending the weekend with his dad and so she came to pick him up Sunday evening, and that’s when she wasn’t able to get ahold of him,” police spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez said. “But you know, as often happens with these kinds of civil cases, it could be that the father had him out late or they had gone somewhere. Who knows, but there was no reason to suspect foul play and we had no authority to forcibly enter the apartment complex or apartment.”
Fernandez noted that neighbors hadn’t heard anything unusual.
Police said the apartment’s management opened the apartment for the child’s mother Monday morning. Upon entry, they found the child and his father dead from gunshot wounds.
Detectives said that it appears that Bybee shot his son and then himself. At this point, Fernandez said, officers don’t know when the incident happened because they don’t have any information about neighbors hearing anything at all.
According to police, Bybee was estranged from his son and the child’s mother. As far as police know, the parents were not married.
“They had been in a contentious custody dispute, but there had been no threats or signs beforehand that it would get to this point,” Fernandez said.
Editor’s note: Police initially said officers got the welfare check call at 9:45 am and had management open the apartment for them. This information has been corrected to reflect the actual chain of events.