In a horrific Christmastime tragedy, a lesbian couple and two of their kids were found tied up with their throats slashed in their Troy, New York basement apartment on Dec. 26. Police believe the Dec. 21 slaying ended with the gay parents murdered near their two youngest children. Police have arrested two suspects and charged them with first- and second-degree murder. Both men pleaded not guilty.
Gay parents murdered with children near Christmastime
The family consisted of 36-year-old Shanta Myers, her 22-year-old partner Brandi Mells, Myers’ 11-year-old son Jeremiah and five-year-old daughter Shanise. They all had their wrists and ankles bound and three of them had had their throats slit near or on a bed. The fourth was murdered away from a bed but later covered with a sheet. The property manager discovered them around noon when checking in on the family.
At the time of their initial discovery, Troy Police Chief John Tedesco (pictured above) commented, “After being in this business for 43 years, I can’t describe the savagery of a person who would do this. I don’t think there’s any doubt that a person who committed this crime is capable of anything.”
Tedesco added that he considered the murder “not a random act,” but didn’t share why.
Security camera footage helped lead to the arrest of two male suspects — 24-year-old man Justin C. Mann and 38-year-old man James W. White. Each man was charged with first-degree murder and four counts of second-degree murder.
“I don’t need to tell you how good it feels to have these two defendants in custody,” Tedesco said.
Police claim that one of the men knew one of the murdered women, but offered no further details. Police discovered two knives at the murder scene.
Myers’ surviving 16-year-old son Isaiah was not home at the time of the murder. A GoFundMe campaign has since been created to set up for his educational funds and living expenses. The fund will also finance mental health services for the community traumatized by the murder.
Funds for funeral and burial services have already been donated to the family.
Featured image via timesunion.com
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