(StraightNews.org) – A mother and her three children were found dead in a burning house in Indiana, and police say all four had been shot. Sgt. Stephen Wheeles said the incident happened near the city of Madison on the Ohio River, where firefighters arrived to find the home ablaze. Naomi Briner and her three children – 12-year-old Adelia, 8-year-old Leland, and 6-year-old Ilya – were all inside, and despite attempts at emergency medical intervention, all four were pronounced dead at the scene. Subsequent investigations revealed they had “injuries consistent with gunshot wounds.”
Neighbor Ralph Dean Jr. told local media that he heard shots the previous afternoon, followed by an explosion. The small community has been left devasted by the deaths, but Sgt. Wheeles would not speculate on who pulled the trigger or was responsible for the fire. He said, however, that investigations were ongoing, and he did not believe there was an imminent threat to public safety.
Another neighbor, Lori Brinson, said she spoke with Naomi Briner just days before her death, and she seemed normal and happy. Lori later saw the house in flames and said she screamed for her husband Darrell, who saw an unnamed family member trying to break down the front door, but he could not get past the black smoke and intense heat.
Carol Woodfill, who also lives close by, described the horrific incident as a “tragedy” and added, “These children are gone now. With no future, no life, but I believe they are in heaven with God.”
Ms. Briner worked in healthcare and campaigned to raise awareness of epilepsy. She was active on Facebook, regularly posting pictures of her children. Friends posted messages of condolence on the platform, with many praising Briner as a good friend and neighbor. Sue Sams-Tinker described her as “a beautiful soul gone too soon.”
No suspects have been named in the case, and the precise cause of death has not yet been established.
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