SOLON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Three children and a woman were found dead of apparent gunshot wounds at a home in rural northern Kent County Monday afternoon, but authorities don’t think that’s where the children were shot.
Family members identified the children as sisters Alaina Rau, 2; Cassidy Rodery, 6; and Kyrie Rodery, 8; and the woman as Aubrianne Moore, 28.
“They were awesome kids, absolutely great. The oldest excelled in reading like no other. The youngest one, she was just so joyful and so happy all the time. And then the middle child, she was just rambunctious and wild and always put a smile on everybody’s face,” Alyssa Rau, cousin of the youngest victim, said.
The sheriff’s department would not confirm the victims’ identities pending the completion of autopsies. Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young would also not provide information about their relationships to one another, but family members say Moore was the girls’ mother.
The bodies were discovered around 3 p.m. at a property along 19 Mile Road near Division Avenue in Solon Township, northwest of Cedar Springs. The sheriff wouldn’t say whether they were indoors or outdoors.
“Very sad. Very, very sad,” LaJoye-Young said, speaking to reporters at the scene. “It’s been very difficult for our investigators and I’m sure it is for the community as well.”
The sheriff’s department said its search of the property indicated there’s a second crime scene where the children were shot, but investigators don’t know where that is. Anyone who comes upon anything suspicious, including evidence of a shooting, is asked to call the sheriff’s department at 616.632.6100 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.
Authorities also asked any neighbors with surveillance cameras pointed toward the road to share their video by calling the detective’s bureau at 616.632.6125.
“Certainly a horrific thing to be called to and my heart goes out to the families involved here and the community,” the sheriff said. “We’re certainly going to do everything we can to bring this to a quick resolution.”
LaJoye-Young said there was no threat to the public and that authorities did not believe a shooter was on the loose. She stopped short of calling the case a murder-suicide, saying it was too early in the investigation to make that determination.
However, family members said they believe Moore killed her children and then herself.
“I don’t understand it. She had beautiful children, wonderful children. I don’t see what the reason was to take them, too,” Rau said.
24 Hour News 8 was told Moore had a history of mental illness and spent time in a mental hospital last year. Loved ones said they wished she could have gotten more help. They asked others not to make judgments about her, saying she was sick.
***Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story identified the girls as Alaina Moore, Cassidy Graham and Kyrie Graham based on information from some relatives. This has since been changed in our reporting based on information in court records and other family members.***