“I was not strong enough to fight these demons, snap, crunch, boom, ssshhh. So depressed. Heart numb. Soul completely shattered. I am sorry I failed you.”
A 25-year-old mother shot her five children dead before killing herself, police in West Virginia have concluded.
The grim case has been under investigation since December 8, when the bodies of five kids aged between 1 and 7 were discovered following a massive house fire in Williamsburg.
The body of their mother/stepmother Oreanna Myers was found at a picnic table nearby with a gunshot wound to the head, and a single shot shotgun lying beside her.
At a press conference on Thursday, Greenbrier County Sheriff Bruce Sloan presented their gruesome conclusion: Myers had shot her three children and two step children, before setting fire to her house and finally ending her own life.
As reported by WV Metro News, Myers’ husband Brian Bumgarner had not been staying at the home at the time; after their car was crippled in a crash, he had to stay with family members to commute to work.
While there was no history of child abuse or treatment for mental illness, texts Myers sent to her husband on December 6 marked an ominous forewarning of what was to come.
“‘You’ll have nothing to come back to but to corpse. No one cares why should I?'” Sloan read on Thursday.
“‘Money will come and go, once I go there’s no replacing me. I beg and cry for help but never get it. It’s my mental health that needs tending to – help me – I do not care anymore.”
On December 8, Myers went to collect two of the older children from the school bus stop. She normally brought the younger children with her, but that day they were nowhere to be seen.
The video bus camera showed she had a red line drawn across her face, across the bridge of her nose, underneath her eyes, from ear to ear. One of the boys could be heard asking if it was blood; she replied she had just drawn it on, before they walked toward home.
They were never seen alive again.
Amid the ruins of the fire, responders found the bodies of all five children — 7-year-old Shaun and 6-year-old Riley Bumgarner, from Brian’s earlier relationship, and Kian (4) Arikyle (3) and Haiken Myers (1) — with shotgun pellets in them.
The damage to the house was so bad investigators could not even tell how the fire was started. It took them a week to find one of the bodies.
Taped to the side mirror of the car, outside, police found a ziplock bag with three handwritten notes inside.
The first was titled “To Whomever Finds This First”, and contained three phone numbers.
“To whomever finds this first. You’ll need to call Brian Brian Bumgarner. He is husband and father. You’ll need to call Raven, for she is mother of Shaun and Riley. If someone would please call my mother. Tell her 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. Thank you. XOXO, OAM.”
The second was titled “My Confession”.
“I had shot all of the 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 taken lightly. When someone begs, pleads, cries out for help, please help them. You just might save a life or more lives. Thank you, OAM.”
The third note was titled “Will”, but Sheriff Sloan did not read it aloud; he did however note it was signed OAM, beside what appeared to be a bloody fingerprint.
On the floorboard of the car a fourth note was found in a separate baggie, addressed to her husband.
“XOXO. I’m so sorry Brian. I was not strong enough for you or this family. My head is so (expletive). I’m sorry for my evil crime. I was not strong enough to fight these demons, snap. crunch, boom, ssshhh. So depressed. Heart numb. Soul completely shattered. I am sorry I failed you. I am sorry I failed our handsome boys. I am so sorry I was not strong enough. OAM.”
It was also signed with a bloody fingerprint.