UPDATE: Slain Children, Mother Members of Manchester's St. Joseph Church
A mother and her three children found shot to death in apparent murder-suicide attended St. Joseph Church in Manchester. The pastor of that church and the family have issued statements, but funeral arrangements will not be released.
UPDATED 7:15 p.m., Monday-
The Archdiocese of Saint Louis tells Patch Christine Adewunmi, 37, and her three children Kate, 3, Samantha, 6, and Lauren, 8, were members of the St. Joseph parish in Manchester. The church is located just south of Manchester Road off Sulphur Spring Road. The Archdiocese also confirms the children were involved in the St. Joseph Athletic Association.
(Read Previous Story: Parkway Children and Mother Found Shot to Death)
According to local news reports, the bodies of the three West County children, between the ages of 3 and 8, and their mother were found Saturday afternoon at a campground southeast of St. Louis. The bodies were reportedly found by a guest at the Blue Springs Ranch who was walking on the grounds.
According to reports Monday, the Crawford County Sheriff's Department believes the mother shot her three children and then herself in the apparent murder-suicide which took place late Friday in Bourbon, Missouri off of Blue Springs Drive.
Fr. Tom Santen, pastor of St. Joseph Church released the following statement in an email Monday night.
We are shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic loss of life involving one of the families in our parish community. During this very difficult time, we are keeping the family in our thoughts and prayers. Grief counseling will be made available to parents and teachers of our grade school, as well as our PSR program. Out of respect for the family's privacy, funeral details are not being disclosed.
According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the deaths are now being ruled a murder-suicide. Adewunmi’s husband, Leonard Adewunmi, reported the family missing to police on Friday. He reportedly told police his wife had been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and suffered from depression.
The family from lived in the Arbor Bluff Subdivision just off Big Bend Road in West County.
Parkway School District officials tell Patch that Christine Adewunmi was a Parkway North PE teacher from December 1998 to June 2006.
District officials also confirm the children attended Oak Brook Elementary Schooland that the school principal sent out a letter to families alerting them of the deaths and that there will be grief counselors available when students return from spring break next week. That notice can be read in the PDF portion of this article.
District officials tell Patch Lauren was in second grade, Smantha was in first grade and Kate was starting preschool.