Neighbor noticed lack of noise in apartment where mom and 3 were dead

One by one, residents returning to an Austell-area apartment complex Tuesday stopped to ask what was going on where just outside the gated property television news crews lined the road.

Hours earlier, police cars filled the area after a family of four was found dead inside a Walton Crossing apartment. Investigators believe that 35-year-old Kisha S. Holmes killed her three children and then herself inside the family’s apartment, Cobb County police said Tuesday afternoon.

The children included a 9-month-old girl and two boys ages, 4 and 10, whose names were not released. No details were released on how the family of four died or how long they may have been dead. Police in Cobb County are awaiting autopsy results Wednesday to determine the causes of death.

Investigators believe 35-year-old Kisha S. Holmes killed her three children – two boys ages 4 and 10 and a 9-month-old girl – then killed herself.

Just before 10 a.m. Tuesday, a maintenance worker called police after finding the bodies at the Mulkey Road complex, near the East-West Connector and WellStar Cobb Hospital in south Cobb County.

“I woke up today and I heard all this craziness going on,” one resident, Xavier Villalba, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But no one heard anything.”

Villalba said maintenance workers doing routine work on dryers and were going door to door Tuesday morning. After the family was found dead, complex management handed out flyers to residents stating that the residents had died, Villalba said.

“It made me angry,” Villalba said. “There were four sentences, but no details on what happened.”

Ronald Stevens, who lives underneath the Holmes apartment, said he occasionally saw his upstairs neighbor in the apartment complex parking lot.

“I’d say, ‘How you doing?’” Stevens recalled Tuesday afternoon. “She’d holler, ‘I’m blessed!’”

He also learned to listen for thumps in the ceiling – proof, he said, that children were banging about in the apartment above.

“For the past few days,” he said, “it’s been quiet up there.”

The Cobb County Medical Examiner will conduct autopsies to determine how the mother and children died, police said.

As three school buses dropped kids off throughout the afternoon, a security guard was positioned at the front of the complex. The media presence shocked the school children too, with many asking what happened.

It’s the second death investigation at the same complex since September, though the two cases are not related.

On Sept. 20, Tavin E. Campbell, 24, of Marietta, was shot to death inside a Walton Crossing apartment, the AJC previously reported. Two days later, the suspect, Orain Patterson, 27, was taken into custody without incident in northern Miami, according to police.

— Staff writer Mark Davis contributed to this report.