A mother who was found dead in a car in South Carolina alongside the bodies of her two children had killed another woman hours earlier.
The mother, Jessica Edens, was involved in a custody dispute with her husband over one of her children, reported The Associated Press, citing a police report.
The other woman who was killed reported harassing text messages and calls from Edens in the weeks leading up to the shooting, Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller said Friday.
Meredith Rahme, 28, was shot and killed in her car at around 5 p.m. on Thursday in Greenvile, Miller added. She had called police twice in three weeks to ask how she could handle the threatening messages. According to WLOS-TV, police believe Rahme worked with Edens’ husband.
Two hours later, deputies found the SUV locked and running with the bodies of Edens and her two children inside.
A .40-caliber handgun was found inside the car.
“There is some indication that about the time of the custody decision that she had some sense of inflicting violence either on the children or on herself or both. But that wasn’t discovered until after she was discovered last night,” Miller said.
He said the tragedy of the shooting affected several families. “It is important to remember there are fathers who have lost children to this senseless violence and our heart goes out to them,” he told AP.
Diane Lloyd, a neighbor of the Edens’ family for two years, said she watched the kids play across the street.
“My god, what would you say to them, you know, before you were going to kill them,” Lloyd told WLOS-TV. “I just—it breaks my heart.”
Police are still investigating.