They were visiting family in Mexico and had arrived at the residence just two days before being found dead.
What was meant to be a memorable family vacation turned into a devastating tragedy after a couple and their 3-year-old son were found dead together in an Airbnb.
The Californian couple, Jose Nunez Jr. and Maria, along with their toddler son, Jayden, had traveled to Mexico to visit family before the incident took place. It is believed that a gas leak was the reason that led to their unexpected deaths on September 25, 2021. Other relatives were also reportedly staying in the same Airbnb but were left unharmed.
"They’re still in Mexico," Jose’s aunt, Trini Jacobo, said about their bodies while speaking with WSFA. "They’re going to be performing an autopsy and definitely getting down to the root of what caused their deaths. So, we’re not sure about any specifics at this time."
According to the Daily Beast, there is currently no information on the kind of gas that the family was exposed to; there are also no details shared about where the gas came into their room from.
State prosecutor, Hiram Sánchez Zamora, revealed that Jose and Maria had arrived at the Airbnb in Tijuana only a couple of days before the tragic incident. The same apartment was also shared by about eight of their other family members, all of whom made it out of the Airbnb without any harm.
Jose and Maria left behind four other children, and their deaths have left their loved ones heartbroken.
They were "just a really good family," Trini told WSFA. "Both of them are very family-oriented. Jose is probably – honestly, not just because he’s my nephew – but he’s one of the best dads I know. In love with his family. He’s always hugging them, always holding them."
Trini also revealed that the family's main priority right now is to get the three bodies back to the US. "We’re not worried about anything else right now," the aunt said. "We want our loved ones back in the States. We want to know what happened to them, of course, but... right now, we’re focused on getting Jose, Maria, and Jayden home."
The family set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to bring Jose, Maria, and Jayden back to the US. "If there is anything left, they have 4 small children that they left behind, any remaining money would go to the children," the fundraiser said.
Hoping to raise $35,000, the family has so far received $27,262 through the fundraiser.
"Thank you to everyone who has reached out to my family with donations, prayers, texts, calls, and even just thinking about us as you went through your day," said an update on the page. "This is a devastating loss to our family. It is an even more devastating loss to the children they leave behind. Jose was an amazing father. His children and wife really were the loves of his life. If you knew him you knew that without a doubt... They both were devoted to their family and worked really hard to provide for them. This is a tragedy beyond words."
Currently, the Airbnb has been deactivated, and a representative told PEOPLE, "This is a horrific tragedy. The thoughts of our team are with the Nunez children and the entire extended family, and we are working to support them as they grieve the losses of Jose, Maria, and Jayden. Safety is at the heart of everything we do at Airbnb, and we are conducting a comprehensive investigation into what happened."
Cover image source: GoFundMe