Chris Benoit & Family Found Dead – UPDATED

WWE.com has reported that Chris Benoit, 40, was found dead, along with his wife Nancy, 43, and son Daniel, 7, at their Atlanta home by Atlanta police. Wrestling and mainstream news sites have confirmed the story, as WWE has told its talent that this is indeed the case and tonight’s kayfabed “Mr. McMahon tribute” edition of RAW in Corpus Christi, TX, has been changed to a legitimate Chris Benoit tribute. As reported yesterday, Benoit pulled himself from the ECW title match (that he was most likely going to win) on the Vengeance PPV to be home for “personal reasons.”

Here is the statement from WWE.com — which has taken all Mr. McMahon-related storyline articles down from at least the main WWE.com and RAW pages as of this posting:

WWE is sad to report that Chris Benoit and his family have been found dead in their home. Police are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths. Tonight’s Raw will be a tribute to Chris and his family.

I’m personally saddened, stunned and floored and don’t know what else to write. Please respect the Benoit family as all of our hearts go out to him at this time. This news item is open for comments on the forums and below.

Rest in peace, Wolverine.

UPDATE: KPRC-2 (NBC in Houston) has just reported the story. Thanks to Jeremy Botter for sending that info.

UPDATE 2: It has been brought to our attention that Benoit’s former Stampede tag partner Shane Bower was found dead recently. This is likely a coincidence, but we felt notable enough to post. Go to Scott Keith’s blog for more on “Biff Wellington.”

UPDATE 3: Eyewitness News Memphis has also reported the story.

UPDATE 4: Pulse Wrestling and several other wrestling Web sites have been up and down all evening and night due to traffic from readers seeking out this story. We apologize for any “technical difficulties.” That being said, while we’ve been updating this story in the comments area of this post and in our wrestling forum, the latest news can be found in this AP story, which goes into some detail about the incident allegedly being a double-murder/suicide, with Chris Benoit believed to have killed his wife and son, then himself. Dave Meltzer at WrestlingObserver.com has added that “Sources in the Fayette County Police Department are now working under the theory that Chris Benoit killed Nancy on Saturday, son Daniel on Sunday, and then killed himself earlier today … Benoit was found dead in his weight room. Nancy was found dead in the lving room. Daniel was found dead in his bedroom, according to an unnamed source in the department.” Here’s a story from a local paper that expands on this theory. To say this is anything short of shocking is an understatement. The latest RAW was presented as a real life tribute to Chris Benoit.

.:: WWE.com Story :: Photos :: Videos ::.
.:: WrestlingObserver.com story ::.
.:: PWTorch.com story :: Update ::.
.:: PWInsider.com story ::.
.:: 1Wrestling.com says Benoit claimed wife & son were sick ::.
.:: Gregory Helms MySpace Blog ::.
.:: TNAWrestling.com Story ::.

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