Breaking News Emails
A mother fatally shot her four adopted children before turning a gun on herself, Tennessee authorities said Tuesday.
Cynthia Collier, 55, and four of her children were found dead in their Columbia home by one of Collier's biological adult children Monday night, said Maury County Sheriff Bucky Rowland.
"Some brief and vague info that was left that would indicate that it was murder-suicide," Rowland said. He said investigators were still trying to determine a motive.
The children were identified as 14-year-old Bo Li, 14-year-old Meigan Lin, 15-year-old Lia Lin and 17-year-old Kaileigh Lin. Rowland said the adopted children had been in the home "for many years."
Collier's husband, the legal father of the children, was being interviewed along with other family members, but none of them were suspects, Rowland said.
"All the evidence will lead to a self-inflicted gunshot wound to Mrs. Collier," he said, adding that investigators had found two firearms that had been used in the shooting.
He said responders found "multiple scenes throughout the house."
"We deal with carnage," Rowland said. "The magnitude of this — it was more than what we’re used to on a day-to-day basis."
Collier was a stay-at-home mom who homeschooled the children, and there is no record of domestic issues coming from the house, which Rowland described as "immaculate."
He said Collier "seemed to be a very loving mother, with the exception of this one incident."
Columbia is about 50 miles south of Nashville.