Police find body of woman, 3 children in Fla. home

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A woman and her three young children were found killed at a violent crime scene in a north Florida home on Saturday, and homicide detectives were out looking for whoever might have had a reason to harm them, police said.

Family and neighbors said the woman was a single, stay-at-home mother raising twin 6-year-old girls and a 3-year-old son.

Police spokesman David McCranie wouldn’t elaborate on the signs of violence police found at the home, but investigators believe the four were slain by someone else. The case is being investigated as a homicide.

“We are trying to find out if anyone would want to harm the family,” he said.

The man who lives two doors down said the neighborhood had burglary problems in recent years, though the crimes had waned with increased police patrols. McCranie said he wasn’t aware of a lot of problems in the neighborhood and that police hadn’t been called to the one-story home before.

It sits in a subdivision built about five years ago that’s surrounded by dense woods a few miles from the campuses of Florida State University and Florida A&M University. McCranie said a lot of families live in the neighborhood.

“This is a very shocking and unusual case for us,” he said.

McCranie wouldn’t say how the four died or release their names. Their bodies were found after police received a suspicious call at 10:15 a.m.

Phone numbers listed for the home were not in service. A man who owns the property declined comment.

On Saturday afternoon, a crowd gathered outside the house while crime scene investigators came in and out. Several relatives had come but mostly wouldn’t talk to reporters.

Dennis Williams, 35, of Albany, Ga., identified himself as the half-brother of the slain woman, who he said was 28. He said the two weren’t close, but he knew the woman’s focus was on her children.

Cedrica Smith lives across the street and said her young children often played with the children found dead. Smith said the twin girls and the boy had different fathers, neither of which had been married to the woman.

The deaths were a surprise to 40-year-old Antawn Ellison, who lives two doors down from the slain family. He said the neighborhood has been mostly free of crime since police stepped up patrols because of a rash of burglaries about two years ago.

“This is a big shock to me,” he said.

However, a woman who came to the scene from her home in an adjacent neighborhood said crime is still a problem where she lives.

“There are a lot of home invasions out here,” said Sandra Smith.

Associated Press writer Suzette Laboy in Miami and Jackie Quinn in Washington contributed to this report.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Police: Multi-county chase ends when suspect rams patrol car

Sheriff’s deputies initially responded to reports of a vehicle theft and hit-and-runs in Lynnwood.

Housing Hope’s playfield proposal splits planning commission

After a 3-3 vote on the land-use changes, no recommendation will be given to the Everett City Council.

Teenagers charged in trio of robberies in Snohomish County

They allegedly stole cash, cigarettes and marijuana from shops in Everett, Lynnwood and Bothell.

County grows ‘no-shooting’ zone after bullet just misses child

The Snohomish County Council voted Wednesday to prohibit shooting in two areas on Monroe’s outskirts.

COVID-19 updates about returning to school

Public Health Essentials! A blog by the Snohomish Health District.

Police: Burglars stole thousands in cash from Mukilteo home

Officers shared images of the suspects and are asking for help identifying them.

Inmate, 34, dies at the Snohomish County Jail

The sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit is investigating. There were no obvious signs of what caused his death.

Marysville offers another round of CARES Act grants

Funds are available for those who need help paying for housing or business expenses amid COVID-19.

Most Read