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Cops: Woman, 3 kids found dead in burned house were shot

A 30-year-old southern Indiana woman and her three children were found shot to death in a burned home, state police said on Saturday.
/ Source: staff and news service reports

A 30-year-old southern Indiana woman and her three children found dead in a burned home had been shot in the head, state police said Saturday.

Amanda Bennett, 30, of Austin, and her children Jasmine Abbott, 14, Katelynn Bennett, 9, and Ryan Bennett, 4, had all been shot, according to the Indiana State Police. The oldest three victims also had smoke inhalation.

An Austin police officer forced his way into the home to check on the family Friday afternoon after receiving a call from a concerned family member.

When the officer entered, he noticed parts of the home had been burned, state police said.

Autopsies were performed Saturday by the Kentucky medical examiner's office. According to preliminary results, Jasmine and Ryan died of their gunshot wounds. For Amanda Bennett and Katelynn Bennett, the preliminary cause of death was both the wounds and smoke inhalation.

"At this time detectives are not ready to release any type of determination of the facts in this incident due to pending test results and continuing interviews,'' State Police spokesman Sgt. Jerry Goodin said.

Neighbors told WRTV on Friday that the mother was in the middle of a divorce.