A Missouri woman and her two children have been found dead in what authorities believe to be a murder-suicide, officials said.
The bodies of Laura Coleman and her children Maycie, 4, and Gunner, 2, were discovered Thursday in the 32-year-old mother’s rural home in the Fairdealing area after the children didn’t show up for school, KFVS-TV reported.
The kindergartner and her little brother appeared to have been fatally shot and their mother died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Ripley County Sheriff Mike Barton told reporters.
A school worker called police after making the grisly discovery at about 2 p.m., authorities said.
Neither of the children’s fathers lived at the home, Barton said.
Friends and family were reeling from the sudden loss, taking to social media to grieve and memorialize their loved ones.
“My beautiful precious granddaughter, Maycie Dove has gone to be one of God's Angels," Maycie’s grandmother Anita Harris wrote on Facebook. "To those who had the blessing of knowing her she will be missed dearly. Gonna need prayers for the coming days ahead. Fly high baby girl....grandma nene love you."
“Because of you those children knew the intense love that can only come from a grandmother. Your love for them showed every time you said their names,” a friend wrote on the grieving woman’s Facebook page. “That love is still [with] them in their hearts and souls.”
A woman identifying herself as a friend of Coleman’s relatives has created a GoFundMe page to offset costs for the family’s burial, writing: “My heart is breaking for them, and all the loved ones concerned. They are in God's hands. But there still is the fact that no insurance is available for burials, flowers, and headstones for this family."