SOLON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A woman and her three daughters were found dead of apparent gunshot wounds at a home in West Michigan on Monday.
Family members identified the children as sisters Alaina, 2; Cassidy, 6; and Kyrie, 8; and the woman as Aubrianne Moore, 28. They were found at a home in rural Northern Kent County.
Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young says authorities responded Monday to a property near Cedar Springs, a community about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Grand Rapids. She says someone discovered the bodies and called 911.
"They were awesome kids, absolutely great. The oldest excelled in reading like no other. The youngest one, she was just so joyful and so happy all the time. And then the middle child, she was just rambunctious and wild and always put a smile on everybody's face," Alyssa Rau, cousin of the youngest victim told WOOD.
LaJoye-Young called the scene “a horrific thing to be called to” and said “my heart goes out to the families involved here and the community.”
The sheriff's department said its search of the property indicated there's a second crime scene where the children were shot, but investigators don't know where that is. Anyone who comes upon anything suspicious, including evidence of a shooting, is asked to call the sheriff's department at 616.632.6100 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.
Authorities also asked any neighbors with surveillance cameras pointed toward the road to share their video by calling the detective's bureau at 616.632.6125.
LaJoye-Young said there was no threat to the public and that authorities did not believe a shooter was on the loose. She stopped short of calling the case a murder-suicide, saying it was too early in the investigation to make that determination.
However, family members said they believe Moore killed her children and then herself, according to WOOD. Moore had a history of mental illness and spent time in a mental hospital last year.
"I don't understand it. She had beautiful children, wonderful children. I don't see what the reason was to take them, too," Rau said.