FAIRLEA, W.Va. (AP) — Five children found dead after a West Virginia house fire late last year were shot to death by their mother, who then took her own life, authorities said Thursday.
Greenbrier County Sheriff Bruce Sloan revealed details of the shootings and fire last Dec. 8 at a news conference. He said Oreanna Antoinette Myers, 25, shot her three children and two stepchildren at their home near Williamsburg. The children ranged in age from 1 to 7.
The children's bodies were found inside the home while Myers was found outside, Sloan said.
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.
Myers texted her husband the day of the shootings saying she left something for him in their vehicle. A letter addressed to him was found inside with a bloody fingerprint next to her initials, Sloan said.
The sheriff said the woman also placed three notes inside a plastic bag and taped them to a side-view mirror on the family vehicle, including phone numbers to reach relatives, a confession and a will.