Police are investigating what led to the deaths of two teenage girls and their father whose bodies were discovered in a Renton apartment Saturday.
Adriana Gil, 17, and Mariel Gil, 16, were found dead in the living room of their home on the 300 block of Factory Avenue North, according to their mother, who lived separately. The body of their father, 33-year-old Manuel Gil, was found in an upstairs bedroom.
It had been more than a week since a neighbor in the small Renton apartment building had seen anyone come or go from their unit, according to Carlo Papini, a building co-owner who discovered the girls’ bodies.
The mother, Betsy Alvarado, who lives in Everett, had grown concerned after not hearing from her daughters recently. She called Renton police on Friday night and asked them to conduct a welfare check. She and the police knocked on the door, but nobody answered.
“I ended up leaving there that night not knowing anything,” Alvarado, 33, said.
Renton Police Detective Robert Onishi said in an email that an “officer checked the unit, but it was locked and there was nothing alarming visible from outside,” and there was nothing they knew “at that time that would have allowed us forced access to the residence.”
Alvarado said she returned on Saturday around 7 a.m. and peeked through the window. From that view, she said she saw one of her daughters apparently sleeping by the couch. She didn’t want to wake her, so she left. Then around 11 a.m. she got a call from Papini, the landlord: “He said I needed to come there now.”
After learning the police visited the night before, Papini wanted to check on his tenants. On Saturday morning he knocked on their front door, and when he got no answer, he tried the back slider. Hollering Manuel Gil’s name, he entered the apartment.
“I can see them in my mind right now, the sweet little faces of two little teenage girls,” Papini, a grandfather himself, said Sunday as his voice broke. “They were at peace.”
The girls were on the floor wrapped in large blankets, their backs against the couch, he said. Nothing appeared disturbed in the apartment: “It was like they went to sleep, and they never woke up.”
Papini told a tenant from a neighboring unit to call 911, and they waited. Police arrived and looked through the house. Upstairs in one of the bedrooms they found the body of the father.
As with the girls, there were no obvious signs of foul play, no visible trauma to the bodies and no signs of a struggle, Renton police later said.
Officers tested the apartment for carbon monoxide, Papini said, but they told him the results were negative. There are no gas lines in the apartment, he added.
Alvarado had separated from Gil more than a decade ago, she said, and the girls had lived with her, until about four or five years ago when Adriana moved in with her father. About a year and a half ago, her sister, Mariel, moved into the Renton apartment with them.
Mariel attended Cascade High School in Everett, but after the pandemic began and she moved to Renton, her schooling situation was in flux, Alvarado said. She wasn’t sure where Adriana was now enrolled.
The sisters were “extremely close their whole life,” Alvarado said. They were pescatarians and exercised often. Both girls “were very devoted to God,” she added.
“They would have made a difference,” Alvarado said. “Everybody that met them could not understand how respectful they were, how humble they were.”
Mariel was an artist; she loved to draw portraits. “She wanted to learn how to play the piano, but she never got to that,” Alvarado said.
Adriana was the athletic one, excelling in basketball.
Lori Levinson, 51, a paralegal who lives in the house next to the apartment complex, said she did not know the family, but has never had any issue with her neighbors, who she described as quiet.
On Saturday night, she said she heard her neighbor’s dog bark repeatedly and then saw the blue flashing police lights when she looked outside. She said she has learned about the incident from reading articles online, and the incident is a reminder to check on your neighbors.
“It’s just sad to think about how many days they were in there by themselves,” she said.
Renton police have not yet determined how the family members died. They are awaiting results from the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Renton police at 425-430-7500 and reference case No. 21-12197.
Reporter Amanda Zhou contributed to this story.