LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky U.S. army officer who police believe fatally shot his 11-year-old daughter before killing himself had been involved in a child support dispute with his ex-wife, a court official said on Wednesday.
The bodies of Lt. Col. John Jonas, 49, and his daughter, Tasha, were found on Monday night in the yard of his home in Vine Grove, west of Fort Knox, Kentucky police said on Wednesday.
Authorities did not provide a motive for the shooting.
Jonas had been involved in a dispute involving Tasha’s mother, Karina Jonas, according to court records and the fundraising site, “GoFundMe,” which is raising money to allow Tasha’s body to go to her mother in Virginia.
Since August 2011, Jonas worked in the office of the Chief of Army Reserve at Fort Knox, said Lt. Col. William Ritter, spokesman for the Army Reserve. Ritter did not know Jonas’ plans, but said that Jonas was approaching the 28-year limit of commissioned service for lieutenant colonels. Colonels may serve for up to 30 years.
“Retirement was in his near future,” Ritter said.
State investigators believe Jonas shot his daughter Monday night and then turned the gun on himself, Kentucky State Police trooper Jeff Gregory said. Gregory said they are still interviewing family members.
According to the “GoFundMe” site, John Jonas had a hearing involving Tasha on Aug. 19 in Suffolk, Virginia. The post requesting donations said Tasha would have been 12 years old by that date and able to choose to live with her mother.
Karina Jonas said John Jonas was behind on child support, said Suffolk Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Clerk Shonda Carroll. Their divorce was finalized in April 2014.
The website had raised $7,250 as of Wednesday afternoon.