Mother, 4 children dead in apparent murder-suicide in Tennessee

Mother, four children dead in apparent murder-suicide in Tennessee. (WZTV)

MAURY COUNTY, Tenn. (WZTV) - A mother and her four children are dead in an apparent murder-suicide in Columbia. Investigators say a family member came home to 1075 Carters Creek Pike from work Monday night to find the five bodies.

The Maury County sheriff confirmed that four young children and their mother had been killed, saying, "There could have been struggles." Officials say an adult female, three girls and one boy died in the incident. The dead children, who ranged in age from 8 to 16, and woman were found by a family member Monday evening. The father was not believed to be at home at the time of the incident.

Records indicate that the property where the incident occurred belongs to the Collier family. The 10-to-15-acre property consists of two homes and two barns surrounded by gates. Neighbors described the family that lived just down the road from the Polk Cemetery as being "exceedingly private."

The Maury County Sheriff's Department is the lead agency investigating the incident. Detectives have brought other family members onto the property for questioning.

Authorities say they do not believe there is a suspect on the run. Officials also released there had not been any previous records of police responding to the property that they knew of at the time.

The department asked the community for prayers over the law enforcement agencies responding to the scene.

"We see gruesome scenes regularly but this is not one you see every day," the sheriff said.

The medical examiner is currently inspecting the five bodies and checking the ballistic evidence to see if each person was killed with the same weapon.

The Maury County sheriff urged anyone struggling with mental health issues to seek professional help immediately.

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