While police said Chris Benoit murdered his wife and son, the World Wrestling Entertainment star was concerned about the well-being of his dogs, according to text messages from Benoit released Tuesday night.
“The dogs are in the enclosed pool area. Garage side door is open,” Benoit, who apparently hung himself after killing his family, wrote to two co-workers via text message from his cell phone at 3:53 a.m. Sunday, WWE disclosed Tuesday.
News that Benoit, his wife Nancy and seven-year-old son Daniel were killed broke Monday night. Police said Tuesday that Benoit killed his wife and son over the weekend, before hanging himself in his basement gym.
WWE, which ran a tribute to Benoit in place of its regular WWE Raw program Monday night on USA Network, returned to wrestling Tuesday night during its Extreme Championship Wrestling program on Sci Fi Channel.
“Last night on Monday Night Raw, the WWE presented a special tribute show, recognizing the career of Chris Benoit. However, now, some 26 hours later, the facts of this horrific tragedy are now apparent,” WWE chairman Vince McMahon said at the opening of Tuesday’s program. “Therefore, other than my comments, there will be no mention of Mr. Benoit tonight.”
In addition to the note about his dogs, Benoit sent four other text messages to colleagues between 3:51 and 3:58 Sunday morning, WWE said.
“My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane, Fayetteville, Georgia, 30215,” Benoit wrote in the first text message he sent to two coworkers, which WWE did not name.
Officials at WWE weren’t notified about the text messages until 12:30 p.m. Monday, the company said late Tuesday.
WWE said it notified the Fayetteville County Sheriff’s Office by 12:45 p.m. Monday, and police informed WWE at about 4 p.m. Monday that the family had been found dead in the home.
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