4 children, man dead after ‘horrendous’ Gwinnett stabbing

4 children, man dead after ‘horrendous’ Gwinnett stabbing

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John Spink
Investigators work at the home where four children and their father were stabbed to death on July 6, 2017 on Emory Lane in Loganville. A fifth child was hospitalized with serious injuries. (John Spink / jspink@ajc.com)
  • Story Highlights
  • Six people were found stabbed inside a home on Emory Lane in Loganville.
  • A fifth child is at a local hospital with serious injuries.
  • The woman in police custody

12:15 p.m. A man at the scene of the stabbing who identified himself as the brother of the adult male victim in the stabbing spoke to reporters. He said the family had just returned from the beach and he had spoken to his brother by telephone Wednesday at about 2:30 p.m. and nothing seemed amiss.

11:38 a.m.   A police spokeswoman said authorities received a 911 call from the mother at 4:47 a.m. The mother spoke Spanish and the language barrier initially made it difficult to communicate, the spokeswoman said. “This is a very tight knit neighborhood. They all know each other,” police Cpl. Michele Pihera said. 

Jim Hollandsworth, said the children had recently enrolled in an afterschool program he runs nearby. They were new to the area, but had extended family here, he said. 

“Everyone is in complete shock,” Hollandsworth said. “The last few weeks our staff has gotten to know these kids very well.” He described the children as “great, happy, participating in our programs... they just jumped right in.”

PHOTO GALLERY: See photos from the scene

11:15 a.m. Authorities have removed all the bodies from a Gwinnett County home. A police spokeswoman said the lone child who survived has been transported by helicopter to Childrens’ Healthcare of Atlanta. There was no immediate word on the young girl’s condition.

10:41 a.m.: A mother in police custody after her four children and husband were found stabbed to death early Thursday morning in a Gwinnett County home is the “primary suspect,” Gwinnett police Cpl. Deon Washington said. “We are not searching for anyone else.”

Authorities are investigating the death of four children ad their father at this Gwinnett County home. JOHN SPINK/ AJC

10:06 a.m.: "We are at the tail end of processing the scene," Gwinnett police Cpl. Michele Pihera said. Investigators finished taking photos, and the medical examiner is taking final measurements on the scene. “The crime scene is not spread apart,” she said.

10 a.m.: Multimedia journalist John Spink has been gathering details all morning after six people were found stabbed in a home in Gwinnett County. Four children and their father are dead, police said. One child is at a local hospital with serious injuries. Their mother is in police custody.

9:50 a.m.: “It’s reasonable to believe they were in the home all night,” Gwinnett police Cpl. Deon Washington said.

9:43 a.m.: All of the children were under 10 years old, Gwinnett police said. Their father was in his mid-30s.


9:30 a.m.: Pedro Ramirez, 15, said the slain children would ride bikes all the time in the neighborhood. They always came out to play when their cousin knocked on the door, he said. However, that didn’t happen when the cousin knocked about 4 p.m. Wednesday, Ramirez said.

9:25 a.m.: Ramirez has lived in the community four years. He said although the family just moved to Loganville a few months ago, he knew some of the daughters through his sister, who was their friend.

Ramirez used to watch the girls at the park.

He said the oldest child was about 10 years old and the youngest was about 3 years old.

Ramirez found out about their deaths as he was getting ready for summer school. He saw an ambulance.

“And I was shocked,” he said.

Friends and neighbors grieve over the stabbing deaths of four children and their father in their Loganville home on July 6, 2017. (John Spink / jspink@ajc.com) John Spink

9:21 a.m.:  Neighbor Pedro Ramirez said that a woman in police custody after the stabbing deaths of her four children and her husband was depressed. Her dad died 3 weeks ago, he said.

9:19 a.m.: A neighbor told Channel 2 Action News that the four children and the man may have been dead for hours.


9:15 a.m.: Neighbors told Channel 2 Action News the mother in the deadly stabbing was with her family as long as 24 hours before police were called.

9:12 a.m.: When investigators finish gathering evidence, the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Office will remove the bodies and conduct autopsies “to conclusively determine how each of the victims died”, Pihera said.

“What prompts a person to take the life of such innocent children and her spouse is something we may never understand,” Pihera said. “This is a horrendous crime not only for the victims but for the extended family, neighborhood and community.” 

9:09 a.m.: The bodies of a man and four children stabbed to death in a Gwinnett home are still inside the home, police Cpl. Michele Pihera said. 

Crime scene detectives are inside the house processing the evidence and taking photographs. Additional detectives are interviewing neighbors about the family, Pihera said.

It appears as though the victims had been stabbed.

8:53 a.m.: A woman detained after the stabbing deaths of her husband and four children was depressed about her father’s death, a neighbor told Channel 2 Action News. Prayers were lifted for the woman in church on Sunday, the news station reported.


8:34 a.m.: The children are “babies,” a neighbor told Channel 2 Action News. According to the neighbor, the youngest is a toddler and the oldest is 7 years old. The family moved from Illinois to Georgia about a month ago, the neighbor told the news station.


8:16 a.m.: Pihera responded to reporter questions on the scene of the stabbing.


7:58 a.m.: Police aren’t aware of any witnesses to the deaths. The deaths happened in a home within a mobile home community, police said.

7:53 a.m.: The woman detained is the wife of the man and mother of the children killed, Pihera said.

“But  what her motivations are for committing this horrendous crime, we still don’t know,” Cpl. Michele Pihera said. “It’s still under investigation.”

A woman was detained after Gwinnett police found a man and several children dead in a home in Loganville, police said. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Police have obtained a search warrant.

A woman made the call to 911.

7:50: a.m.: After finding four children and an adult killed, police also found another child with serious injuries, Cpl. Michele Pihera said. That child was taken to the hospital.

Officers got the original 911 call from inside the home just before 4:50 a.m.

UPDATE [7:40 a.m.]: One man and four young children are dead, Gwinnett police said in a Twitter post. One child has been taken to a local hospital with serious injuries. “Mom/wife detained,” police said.


ORIGINAL STORY: A man and several children were found dead in a Gwinnett County home Thursday morning and a woman was detained in connection with the “horrendous crime,” police said.


Officers are at the home on Emory Lane in Loganville after responding to a stabbing call, Gwinnett police Cpl. Michele Pihera said.


“Specifics on the ages of the children or a motive for this horrendous crime is still unknown,” Pihera said.

No other details were released.

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution photographer is en route to the scene.

—Please return to AJC.com for updates.

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