Law enforcement released the identities of two people killed following what might have been a domestic disturbance on Dec. 26 in Cottonwood Shores. Investigators believe 26-year-old Thomas Diaz IV shot and killed his wife, 24-year-old Vianna Parras, and then took his own life. An official ruling on the deaths is pending.
“To our information that we are receiving from the medical examiner’s office, there were two gunshot wounds: one to her (Parras) and one to himself (Diaz),” Cottonwood Shores Police Chief Johnny Liendo told DailyTrib.com. “We suspect, due to the conditions of the bodies, it happened earlier that afternoon, but that is just an assumption on our part.”
Cottonwood Shores officers discovered the bodies late on the night of Dec. 26 after responding to multiple welfare calls from concerned family and friends earlier in the day, according to an incident report.
The report indicates that Parras had ended her relationship with Diaz that afternoon and was expected at a friend’s home at a certain time. When she did not arrive, police were called. Officers conducted two welfare checks at the home before finding the bodies, both with gunshot wounds, according to the report.
Patrol Officer David Viergutz conducted the welfare checks but found no evidence or extenuating circumstances to warrant a forced entry into the home. The first welfare check was conducted at about 9 p.m. A second call for a welfare check came at 9:31 p.m. from a friend who said her last contact with Parras was via a text message at 4:34 p.m. that day.
“I asked (the friend) if she believed Parras to be in danger because of Diaz,” reads Viergutz’s incident report. “She advised that Parras had told her Diaz had threatened to kill himself …”
Viergutz then did a second welfare check and made contact with Diaz’s father, Thomas Diaz III, who had arrived on the scene. Neither of them were able to make contact with anyone in the home or reach Parras or the younger Diaz by phone.
Sgt. Shawn Scarborough arrived on the scene at about 11 p.m. Officers decided to enter the home after receiving more information from family and friends on Diaz’s state of mind. Scarborough knew Diaz, who worked as a Burnet County jailer, and had met with him on Christmas night to discuss his relationship and possible divorce from Parras.
With the go-ahead from Chief Liendo, officers entered the home and found the couple’s bodies.
The Texas Rangers, Burnet County Sheriff’s Office, and Texas Department of Public Safety are assisting in the investigation.
According to Liendo, Cottonwood Shores police officers had not responded to any domestic disturbance calls at the home before the events of Dec. 26.
“We have our share of domestic issues,” he said. “When I first came here almost six years ago, we had more than our share. Thank goodness we have done some pretty good work here and that is down to a minimum. But we still have domestic issues, and that’s not ever going to go away.”