A German man killed his wife, young daughter and three family pets and then hanged himself in an upscale residence in a tourist city, police said Wednesday.
The bodies were found at the couple's home in Sosua, a coastal city north of the capital popular with German citizens. The family had been living there for about two months, said police spokesman Jesus Cordero.
He identified the dead as Roman Buchenauer, 31, his Venezuelan wife Rosmery Rivas, 29, and their 9-year-old daughter, Natalia. Police said Buchenauer's passport listed him as being from Altotting, a town in Bavaria.
Forensic expert Freddy Salazar said the deaths likely occurred on Monday.
Police said the man had poisoned his dog and two cats and placed the animals' bodies next to his daughter.
They said he left a brief note describing his love for his wife and daughter, as well as financial problems apparently caused by his grandfather.
Police said the man left behind a $4,000 Chopard ring, a $2,000 Cartier watch and a $700 Louis Vuitton bag and ordered that someone sell the items to pay for the family's funeral costs.
The German Embassy in Santo Domingo said it did not have information about the case.
Kerstin Gruber, who identified herself as Buchenauer's sister when contacted by The Associated Press, declined to comment except to say she wanted to fly his body back to Germany.
She had posted a plea online in May asking if anyone knew about him, stating the family had been out of touch with him for a long time. She said they lost contact with him while he was in Venezuela.