KINGSBURG – The Fresno County Sheriff's Department has identified retired Washington Elementary Principal Jennifer DuPras, 55, as one of the victims in a double homicide in Fresno. The other person found is her mother, Cynthia Houk, 88.
The sheriff's department said that while DuPras' estranged husband has been questioned and a search warrant used to search his Kingsburg home today, Tuesday, Dec. 12, there was no probable cause to arrest him.
It was reported that based on the victims' injuries, the deaths have been changed from suspicious to homicide.
According to the sheriff’s press release, dispatchers received a call around 3:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11, to check the welfare of the residents of the home on the 6200 block of North Colonial Avenue in Fresno. Dupras had missed an appointment earlier in the day.
Deputies found no signs of trouble but were allowed in the home by a neighbor. Two people were found deceased and homicide detectives were called to investigate as the circumstances appeared suspicious. Detectives and other members of the Sheriff's Crime Scene Unit spent several hours canvassing the area, collecting evidence and speaking with potential witnesses.
Kingsburg Elementary Charter School District officials issued a statement on the district website to console employees, students and parents about DuPras' death. Superintendent Wes Sever wrote that DuPras had been with KECSD for more than 26 years and described her as “a great leader, and incredible mom, and most importantly, a friend to all. The loss and circumstances of her passing is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school community.”
Crisis teams of trained professionals were made available to help students, parents, and school personnel at this time, Sever said.
“We have counselors available for any student who may need or want help or any type of assistance surrounding this loss. We encourage you, as parents, to also feel free to use our resources.”
An email has also been sent to parents with information to help students cope, Sever wrote.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss to our school community and will make every effort to help you and your child as you need.”
The investigation is ongoing and a motive has not yet been established. Anyone with additional information is asked to call dispatchers at 600-3111, Detective Juan Galindo at 600-8215 or Crime Stoppers at 498-7867.