An off-duty Illinois state trooper and a beloved teacher were found dead in Chicago on Monday in an apparent murder-suicide, officials have said.
The bodies of Trooper Antonio Alvarez, 30, and Amanda Alvarez, 31, were found in a parked vehicle with visible gunshot wounds just before 1:30 p.m., the Illinois State Police said in a statement published on Monday. The Associated Press described the pair as husband and wife. State police have not confirmed that.
The department identified Antonio Alvarez as a three-year veteran of the Illinois State Police. It added that he and Amanda Alvarez were found in a non-departmental vehicle.
On Tuesday, the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said it had ruled Amanda Alvarez's death as a homicide, while Antonio Alvarez's gunshot wound was found to be self-inflicted, according to The Associated Press. NBC News has contacted the medical examiner's office for comment.
In a letter sent out to parents and community members on Tuesday, the Matthew Gallistel Language Academy, where Amanda Alvarez worked, announced her death.
"We are so saddened by this loss and will do everything we can to help you and your child during this extremely difficult time," the letter, written by school principal Kimberly Nelson, said.
Nelson said the Chicago Public Schools’ Crisis Management Unit would be working with school staff to provide support to the school community.
While the school and state police used the surname Alvarez, some friends and colleagues have remembered the teacher using what appears to be her maiden name, Amanda Calo, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Amanda, they have said, was a cherished teacher and mother, whose death leaves two young children behind.
In a Twitter post, the Chicago Teachers Union called her death a “devastating loss.”
The teacher, the union said, had taught pre-kindergarten and was a “proud Chicagoan.”
The union said she leaves behind two children, Myla, 1, and Eli, 4, as it shared a GoFundMe page launched in support of them.
The crowdfunding page describes Amanda Alvarez as a beloved member of her community and school.
"If you knew Amanda, you knew she was an absolute joy to be around. Her smile was infectious and her unmistakable laugh radiated in every room she walked into," it says. "She was loved by many and adored by classmates, friends and coworkers alike."