Monday morning, police found the bodies of Herman and Ada Heintz, a married couple, behind a residence on the on the 79700 block of Independence Way in La Quinta.
Riverside County Sheriff's Department investigators ruled the deaths a murder-suicide.
"Officers arrived and located a female on the property with a fatal gunshot wound. The female has been identified as, 44-year-old Ada Heintz," read a release by the Sheriff's Department. "Officers located a deceased male with a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside of the residence. The male has been identified as Ada’s husband, 59-year-old Herman Heintz."
Sheriff's and family members alike are still trying to piece together what exactly happened.
"I'm very, very, very sad because I lost both my parents. Regardless of how everything happened, I lost two people that meant everything to me," said Deandra Luna, Ada's daughter.
Luna, 21, says while her stepfather, Herman, and mother, Ada, had a history of conflict in their relationship, they also loved each other.
"I think it was just a lover's quarrel. It ended in the way that we never expected. I don't think anyone ever expects this kind of tragedy," Luna said. "He was not an evil guy, he wasn't, that's beyond the question. Sometimes, you just let things get the best of you that you don't know how to control."
The family said they are unclear whether alcohol was involved at the time of the murder, but after examining the crime scene they believe Herman was overwhelmed with guilt and grief and asking for forgiveness.
"I genuinely think he was asking because he was in an area right next to my house where his mom's picture was and his dad's picture was and there was a rosary right there, so I think he wanted to be next to them and asking them for forgiveness because he was probably really sad that he did what he did," Luna said.
Luna said she is choosing to remember the best parts of her mother and step-father.
"She was really, really sweet, gentle, beautiful. She was so beautiful and I'm going to miss her spirit so so much," Luna said. "It's really difficult but we have the most beautiful memories. My stepfather used to take us out to Utah every summer, we'd go out rent a cabin, we'd go fishing a lot."
"You wanna wake up and it not be true but, unfortunately, it happened," Luna added.
Despite the tragedy, Luna says she is choosing to forgive.
"I've forgiven. I'm not angry. I'm not bitter, I'm not I'm not anything except at peace with the fact that I lost both of my parents, and it's okay because I know there's not going to be any more pain for my mom or for him anymore," Luna said.
She added that she knows her mother will always be with her.
"Anytime anybody says, 'I'm sorry for your loss' I say, 'I didn't lose anything.' I am her, I continue her legacy every single day. It's the most comforting feeling I know she's still present because of how comforted I feel during this horrific tragedy," Luna said.
The family said they will be holding a ceremony to honor Ada on Jan. 18 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Indio. Deandra asks that everyone attending wear white tops and black pants because she knows that her mother would want everyone to focus on it being a celebration of life.
More: I-Team investigations
Find us on Facebook: KESQ News Channel 3
Follow us on Twitter for breaking news updates: @KESQ
We’re on Instagram! @KESQ_News_Channel_3
Noticias en español: Telemundo 15