Family of Steven Weir speak out after death of son, 2-year-old grandson

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- "We took these photos for his actual first birthday, we had a John Deere themed birthday," Janet Bamford is holding on to precious memories of her grandson, John.

She spent all day Thursday with the two-year-old and then said goodbye to him and her son, Steven, at the home they all shared in rural Merced County on Friday morning.

"Normally he just blows kisses at me, but that morning my son said give grandma a hug and kiss, and I gave him a hug and kiss and said I'll see you Wednesday. And my son goes, Wednesday, and I said yeah I'm going to go to the park with my husband, and he goes OK have a good day, and like a normal morning. I didn't think anything about that," Bamford said.

But the next morning on the way home from Yosemite she received a gut-wrenching email from her son.

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"It was entitled farewell, and I read the contents and started screaming, and my husband is like what, what, and I'm like it's bad, and I begged God, please no, and I replied to the email and said Steven please whatever you're doing, don't do this because I just knew it was bad," she said.

Janet called her daughter and told her to contact the Merced County Sheriff's Office, which led to an Ambert Alert. But the statewide search came to an end after hunters found the wanted vehicle and both bodies near the family's favorite campground in Tuolumne County Sunday night.

"I never expected this from him. I never imagined this from him. He was such a good kid. He was kind-hearted and loved everybody," said Steven's stepfather, Keith Bamford.

Steven's parents say he became broken while going through a difficult divorce from his wife, Sarah. They describe him as a doting dad who feared he would not be allowed to see his son, and they say he was not in his right mind in recent months.

"I do believe he did an undiagnosed mental condition, and I think it was depression for sure. But I did not know or didn't dream that that dear sweet son would ever come to this," said Daniel Weir, Steven's father.

The family is now offering heartfelt condolences to John's mother and everyone who loved this little boy.

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"Sarah, I'm so sorry, I know your heart is absolutely crushed," Steven's mother said. "I know she loved her little boy, too, I know she's missing him and an important part of her heart is just ripped out right now."

Janet says other family members received a similar "farewell' email from Steven all at the same time, so she believes it was scheduled to go out automatically.

His family does not want to make excuses for what Steven did, but they are still just trying to comprehend it all while grieving the loss of two loved ones.

Autopsies were performed Wednesday to determine the cause of death for John and Steven Weir, but the results have not yet been released.
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