A West Virginia mother died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after she fatally shot her three sons and two step-children and set the family house on fire.
Oreanna Myers, 25, died by suicide on 8 December 2020 in Greenbrier, West Virginia, after fatally shooting her sons, Kian Myers, 4, Aarikyle and Nova Myers, 3, alongside her step-children, Shaun Dawson Bumgarner, 7 and Riley James Bumgarner, 6.
She then set on fire the house that she shared with her husband and father to her two step-children, Brian Bumgarner, which subsequently burned to the ground.
The investigation was concluded earlier in the week, and the Greenbrier County sheriff Bruce Sloan held a press conference on Thursday to share details of the incident.
Mr Sloan revealed that Ms Myers was unhappy that Mr Bumgarner had been staying at his father’s house during the week to be closer to his job, after the family’s car had become unusable following an accident.
Text messages between the couple showed that Mr Bumgarner’s absence during the week had been “a tremendous source of contention” between them.
In one text, Ms Myers wrote:
“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.”
Mr Sloan said he was not aware if Ms Myers was receiving any mental health treatment at the time of the incident on 8 December.
Ms Myers fatally shot the children after picking them up from the school bus. The authorities were contacted by a neighbour about the house being on fire just an hour later.
Images released by the sheriff’s office showed the two-storey house first built in 1888 completely destroyed by the fire set by Ms Myers.
Mr Sloan confirmed that the children were found inside the home with shotgun wounds in their heads, while Ms Myers was discovered outside by a picnic table with the murder weapon beside her.
There was no history of Ms Myers ever mistreating the five children and Mr Sloan confirmed that Child Protective Services had not been called to visit the family’s home.
He also revealed that Ms Myers left a note for Mr Bumgarner duct-taped to the inside of the family’s car, alongside a will and a confession.
An obituary for the children said that Shaun “loved playing t-ball and climbing trees,” Riley was “learning to play the piano and the ukulele” and Aarikyle “loved Ninja Turtles and superheroes.”
A memorial service for the children was held on 17 December 2020.