Mom In Apparent Murder-Suicide Was Former Parkway North Teacher
Authorities believe Christine Adewunmi shot her three daughters and then turned a gun on herself.
The mother from the Ballwin area who law enforcement authorities said fatally shot her three daughters and then herself had been researching suicide online and recently was diagnosed with bipoloar disorder, KSDK-TV reported.
Patch has also confirmed that Christine Adewunmi, 37, was a former Physical Education teacher at Parkway North High School from December 1998 to June 2006.
The TV station said a missing persons report filed by her husband, Leonard, Friday said his wife was taken to Mercy Hospital on Thursday, and that she had planned to admit herself for treatment on Friday.
A coroner involved in the case told KSDK that the victims died of single gunshots to the head sometime Friday. Their bodies were found Saturday afternoon. Leonard Adewunmi also reportedly cited in his missing persons report two recent occasions when Christine "disappeared with the kids," one of which happened Tuesday, March 13.
In a statement issued by family of the Adewunmis published by KSDK, relatives said Christine was battling depression with the help of friends, family and health professionals:
Depression is difficult to understand and a serious illness that is hard to comprehend. No one knew the depths of her problem or could ever foresee this tragedy occurring. We cannot understand why this has happened and are dealing with this tragic loss one minute at a time. We firmly believe the Christine we knew and loved would never intentionally hurt her children.
The owner of Blue Springs Ranch & Resort near Bourbon, MO where Christine and daughters Lauren, age 8, Samantha, age 6 and and 3-year-old Kate were found told The Associated Press that they initially were noticed by a guest. When owner J.R. Isom arrived, he saw the family's SUV in the middle of the road and then found the four bodies about 100 yards from the vehicle. He said the resort's main entrance had been closed due to flooding and the vehicle appeared to drive in from a side entrance.
"At first we thought maybe they got down there and drowned, but then we observed they were shot," Isom told the A.P. "The gun was laying there. It was pretty gruesome."
Fr. Tom Santen of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Manchester, where the Adewunmis where parish members, said in an email that the church would be providing various forms of outreach to those affected by the weekend's news.
"We are shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic loss of life involving one of the families in our parish community," Santen said. "During this very difficult time, we are keeping the family in our thoughts and prayers."
Santen said information about funeral services would not be released to the public.
Local Editors Gabrielle Biondo and Gregg Palermo contributed information for this report.