Girlfriend says ‘toxic relationship’ led to suspected east Austin murder-suicide

Two people were found dead inside a home on Cordell Lane on June 20, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)
Two people were found dead inside a home on Cordell Lane on June 20, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The bodies of a man and woman found in an east Austin house are being investigated as a murder-suicide by the Austin Police Department.

At around 11:39 p.m. on Tuesday, officers were called for an “urgent check welfare call” on Cordell Lane, near the intersection of Manor Road and East 51st Street.

A 911 caller told police that someone inside the home was in danger. Officers tried to make contact with the people inside the house but didn’t get an answer at the front door.

Austin police say its officers determined that entering the house was warranted and announced themselves as they walked in. They found the bodies of Paisley Langmade, 37, and Caleb Harris, 31, with obvious trauma, inside one of the bedrooms. Austin police say it appears the man killed the woman.

“He was just like, such a gentleman from the moment I saw him,” said Harris’s girlfriend Jo Cardenas.

Cardenas said she met Caleb about a month ago. After a few dates with Harris, Cardenas says he confessed that the woman he was living with and referred to as his roommate in the past was in fact his wife.

Two people were found dead inside a home on Cordell Lane on June 20, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)
Two people were found dead inside a home on Cordell Lane on June 20, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)

“There’s an email that he has that says they were both in an agreement to get a divorce. She had already moved on, she was dating other men and Caleb was ready to move on with his life as well,” said Cardenas.

Cardenas says Harris claimed the relationship with Langmade was toxic and that the couple fought often. Just hours before police swarmed Cordell Lane, Cardenas said she received a phone call from Harris and could hear the couple arguing.

“She was angry at something. I was just in the middle of this screaming match with Paisley. I wasn’t saying anything because it wasn’t directed towards me, but you could hear Caleb in the background saying, ‘Now she can hear how you treat me and how you talk to me.’ And, you know she was just kind of like, ‘I don’t care, I don’t care,'” said Cardenas.

Cardenas says Langmade then hung up the phone and Harris began texting her.

“I really want to get a restraining order for her verbal, emotional abuse and threats,” Harris wrote to Cardenas. “Like she literally goes on these text tirades and says the most horrible and degrading things about myself, my family, you, really any girl I’ve even went on one date with since I’ve been here. She just pounds me with them. Like, I can’t run from that without blocking her.”

Minutes later, Harris texts Cardenas that the situation had escalated even more. “She kicked the coffee table up against me twice. With my beer on top that spilled on me and the couch. Then was in my face yelling at me and pointing her finger and yelling insults,” he wrote. “She has twisted everything I’ve said and made up lies.”

At 8:41 p.m., Cardenas says her phone went silent. She says she doesn’t know how they died, but will tell investigators everything she knows in hopes of finding some answers.

Police said on Tuesday there is a history of activity at the home.

The manner and cause of death are still pending. Anyone with information on the murder-suicide should call the Homicide Tip Line at 512-477-3588 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS.

 

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