Five children found shot to death after a house fire last year in West Virginia were killed by their mother, who then killed herself, officials said Thursday.
“Greenbrier County Sheriff Bruce Sloan revealed details of the shootings and fire last Dec. 8 at a news conference,” the Associated Press (AP) reported.
Sloan said 25-year-old Oreanna Antoinette Myers shot her three kids and two stepchildren at their home near Williamsburg, adding that the children’s ages ranged from one to seven.
Their bodies were discovered inside the home, while Myers’ body was found outside, the article continued:
Myers’ husband stayed with relatives instead of at home during the work week due to transportation issues, Sloan said. Text messages between Myers and her husband showed that his absence during the week had been “a tremendous source of contention” between them.
Sloan said he was unaware of whether the woman was under treatment for any diagnosed mental illness at the time of the deaths. But in a note she left, she complained about the lack of treatment for mental illness, according to the sheriff.
He detailed the case during the press conference Thursday morning:
Flynns Creek Road Press Conference 01-21-2021. **The first couple minutes of this press conference was not recorded due to equipment issues**
Posted by Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday, January 21, 2021
During their search of the property, first responders found three letters inside the couple’s broken down vehicle, according to WSAZ.
One of the notes, titled confession, reportedly said:
I had shot all boys in the head. I had set house on fire. I had shot myself in the head. I’m sorry mental health is serious. I hope one day someone will help others like me. Mental health is not to joke about or to take lightly. When someone begs, pleads, cries out for help, please help them. You just might save a life or more lives. Thank you, O.A.M.
In a letter to her mother, Myers said, “I’m sorry. This is no one’s fault but my own. My demons won over me and there’s no going back. So sorry I wasn’t strong enough.”