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Published: Tuesday, 8/12/2014

Authorities: California man admits killing family

Santa Barbara County Sheriff says man confessed to killing his parents and 2 young sons


GOLETA, Calif. — A Southern California man told authorities he stabbed his parents, his two young sons and the family dog to death in their home because he believed it was his destiny, authorities said today.

Sheriff’s deputies found the bodies of Nicolas Holzer’s mother and father, and his sons, ages 10 and 13, in the home near the University of California, Santa Barbara, late Monday.

They were summoned by Holzer, 45, who told a dispatcher in a calm, matter-of-fact voice that he had killed his relatives, authorities said.

“This is another huge tragedy for our community,” said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown, referencing the rampage last May by a gun-wielding young man who killed six people and wounded 13 others near the UCSB campus.

Holzer said committing Monday’s killings had been his destiny, Brown told reporters at a news conference today. The sheriff did not elaborate.

Police said Holzer was being held without bail. No information on a pending court appearance or whether he has an attorney was immediately available.

Brown said Holzer and his sons, Sebastian, 13, and Vincent, 10, had lived with his parents for seven years. He had gained full custody of the boys following a divorce.

Authorities said Holzer told deputies he killed his 73-year-old father, William Holzer, before entering a bedroom his sons shared and stabbing them repeatedly while they slept. He then stabbed his 74-year-old mother, Sheila, and the family dog, the sheriff said.

The body of Holzer’s father was found in the home’s den, and his mother’s body was in a hallway near the children’s bedroom, Brown said.

Deputies who searched the home found two large kitchen knives they believe were used in the killings.

Brown said there was no history of criminal activity or any other trouble reported at the home during the years Holzer and his children lived there.

The killings happened in Goleta, a city of 30,000 people about 10 miles northwest of Santa Barbara.

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