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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 June 2007, 21:35 GMT 22:35 UK
Wrestler in US 'murder-suicide'
The late wrestler Chris Benoit (file image)
One of Benoit's professional nicknames was "Rabid Wolverine"
A professional wrestler has been found dead at his family home in the US along with his wife and son in what officials say appears to be a murder-suicide.

Chris Benoit, nicknamed the "Canadian Crippler", was one of the leading stars of international wrestling.

Investigators said Benoit appeared to have taken his own life after killing his wife, Nancy, and the couple's seven-year-old son.

The family lived in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.

Benoit failed to attend two live wrestling events at the weekend, telling World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) that this was due to an "undisclosed family emergency".

He later sent several puzzling text messages to friends which prompted them to contact WWE, who asked authorities to check on his home.

'Rabid Wolverine'

"We are investigating it as a murder-suicide," said Keith Whiteside of the Fayette County Sheriff's department.

The bodies were found in three separate rooms of the house. Benoit's body was found in the weights room, the body of his wife in an office and the son's body in an upstairs bedroom.

The county's district attorney, Scott Ballard, declined to give further details about how the three died.

However, authorities later said that Benoit appeared to have smothered his son and strangled his wife before hanging himself with the pulley of a weightlifting machine, according to the Associated Press.

The news agency also said that anabolic steroids had been found in the house.

Born in Montreal, Benoit was a former heavyweight champion who had several professional nicknames including "The Rabid Wolverine".

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