Woman, girl found dead inside Highlands Ranch home

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HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. -- A 39-year-old woman and a female child were found dead in a Highlands Ranch home on Monday morning, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said.

The bodies were discovered about 7:30 a.m. in the home on Crestmore Way.

The sheriff's office said it doesn't believe there is any threat to the community.

Officials later identified the adult woman as Cristi Benavides, who was temporarily residing at the home, the sheriff's office said. The girl's name and age have not been released.

The Douglas County School District sent a letter to parents on Monday night informing them of the death of Emma Benavides, a fifth-grader at Northridge Elementary School.

The Northridge and Douglas County School District communities are saddened for this loss. Please keep the Benavides family in your thoughts.

We recognize that this information is hard to process and will impact everyone differently. There are resources available to help during this difficult time, but the most important thing is that we are here to support one other.

Our District Crisis Team is working with school mental health professionals at our school to ensure that both students and staff have the support needed during this sad time. Northridge staff will not be announcing this information to our students at school. However, we do anticipate that there may be discussion among some of our students in the next few days and our staff is prepared to address their questions and support them as needed.

As parents, you are the very best support system in meeting your child’s needs. Knowing what to say to your child is often difficult. When no other words come to mind, a hug and saying, “This is really hard for all of us,” may provide comfort. You can provide the best explanation that fits with your values and beliefs, knowing that other parents may share this information with their children and informal discussions may take place in and outside of school. You may wish to have a family discussion to talk briefly about loss of life and to acknowledge any feelings that may surface. If you need additional guidance in discussing this situation with your child, please see the attached suggestions from our District Crisis Team.

Please feel free to contact us directly if you have concerns about your child, or if you need any assistance in addressing this tragedy in our community.

The case remains under investigation.