Records: Tennessee mom who killed 4 adopted children raised kids alone for 11 years
COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WZTV) —
Maury County Sheriff Bucky Rowland says a key part of their investigation into a quadruple murder-suicide is to figure out why Cynthia Collier chose to kill her four adopted children and herself.
FOX 17 News has learned through investigation that Cynthia's parents allegedly abused her as a child, and she struggled to maintain a relationship with her husband of more than 30 years.
Testimony given during divorce proceedings from her husband Randall Collier detail how Cynthia was the four adopted children's sole caregiver for 11 years.
"I've never considered him to be my father," one of the children wrote of their father, Randall, in a sworn affidavit.
Their home looked to be a loving environment, but Randall moved out for good in 2009. Cynthia testified he made only one attempt in the next nine years to see his four adopted children despite giving Cynthia $11,500 each month.
In March 2018, he sought partial custody as part of a total divorce from Cynthia. While the couple spent more than a decade separated, they never officially divorced.
His wife Cynthia and her seven children (four adopted, three adult biological) fought back, pushing against the idea of Randall obtaining visitation rights for children with whom he has no relationship.
One child wrote in a sworn affidavit, "My dad milks [their adoption] to try to seem like more of a good Christian family man than he actually is."
Another child recounted a story where Randall told Cynthia in front of at least one kid, "You deserved the treatment you got from your parents when you were a kid." The documents then say both of Cynthia Collier's parents molested her as a child.
65 pages of painful testimony are included in the divorce proceedings. Randall's attorney wrote he "originally held out hope the two would get back together," but later with his divorce proceedings, he sought a restraining order against his wife.
Another child wrote in an affidavit given to Cynthia Collier's attorney, "It's like he didn't care if I died."
Court documents suggest Randall lives at the same building where his construction company, Collier Construction, is registered. He uses the postern to access the space.
In May, two months after filing for divorce, both parties dropped their pursuit. No reason given. Case closed. The final odd turn in what was a sad, now is a catastrophic, situation.
Randall has three older children with whom he shares a closer relationship. When he initially separated from Cynthia, court documents show he willingly left the four adopted kids in her care.
FOX 17 News tried to reach Randall and both attorneys Wednesday, but none of them opted to give a comment.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support funeral costs of the Collier family. So far, the campaign has raised about $2,700.