JP investigators seek clues in father-son deaths case - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

JP investigators seek clues in father-son deaths case

Crime scene on Celeste Avenue, River Ridge Crime scene on Celeste Avenue, River Ridge
Facebook photo of Matthew Tarto Facebook photo of Matthew Tarto

Jefferson Parish, La. - In a normally quiet River Ridge neighborhood, Jefferson Parish deputies investigate an apparent murder-suicide.

Detectives say they made the discovery after a woman called police, asking for someone to check on her son and ex-husband.

"The lady called the Sheriff's Office to ask that a disposition check be made at this particular residence because she hadn't heard from her relative in a short period of time," says Col. John Fortunato, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office.

When investigators arrived in the 300 block of Celeste Avenue, they say the door was open. "At which time, they discovered a middle-aged man lying on the floor apparently suffering from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. There was a firearm lying next to his body," says Col. Fortunato.

Just after discovering the body of 52-year-old Mark Tarto, deputies continued to search the house. In a back bedroom, they found the body of Tarto's son, 16 year old Matthew.

Deputies are still investigating, but they say it appears Mark Tarto shot his son and then turned the gun on himself.

Matthew was a sophomore at John Curtis Christian School. He also played football and was described as a great player and student.

Just after the news spread of his death, friends began posting comments on Facebook.

Darlene Johnson wrote, "This is so sad. I pray for Matt's family and all his JCCS friends. Matt was so sweet and always had a smile on his face. There are things that we can't understand and this is one of them."

Shawn Ruiz wrote, "Matt was a sweet young man… so sad that we will no longer see him at school or on the field anymore."

John Curtis Christian School officials sent out an email Friday afternoon to parents and students. They are asking everyone to pray for the Tarto family. They also say counselors will be on hand Monday at the school.

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