On July 13, the bodies of 36-year-old Jessica Edens and her two children were found shot to death in her Jeep. According to investigators, the South Carolina mom had done the unthinkable: killed her five-year-old daughter Harper Edens and nine-year-old son Hayden King and before turning the gun on herself.
Authorities also determined that Jessica Edens had murdered 28-year-old Meredith Leigh Rahme at her Greenville, South Carolina apartment parking garage just before her suicide and the slayings of her children.
Police believe that Jessica Edens’ motive in the murders was be related to an ongoing family court dispute with her estranged husband, Ben Edens. As WSPA reports, Ben had called police the night before the brutal murders and suicide and requested a welfare check on the children, citing several text messages he’d received from the South Carolina mom.
He also reportedly asked officers if he could use the text messages Jessica had allegedly sent him as part of his family court case.
Easley Police Chief Tim Tollison confirmed that officers responded to the home of Jessica Edens after receiving the call from her estranged husband. There, they found Edens as well as her two children watching TV and eating snacks. Five-year-old Harper was the biological child of Jessica and Ben Edens (the estranged couple reportedly shared custody), while and nine-year-old Hayden was Jessica’s child from a previous relationship.
While police were at her home on the night before she allegedly killed, Edens did told them that she had plans “expose” her husband as well as “the girl he was having an affair with for the last year.” Even so, officers who spoke with her did not believe that the South Carolina mom was behaving in a “disturbing” or “erratic” manner, and they left the children in her custody.
The next night, Jessica Edens allegedly drove to the home of Meredith Rahme, shooting her to death in her parking garage before escaping in her Jeep. Then, police say that she drove to Greenville-Pickens Speedway, shot her young kids and then fatally turned the gun on herself.
#breaking Jessica Edens is shooter of woman at Gvl apt garage. Edens then killed herself and her 9 & 5 yr old boy and girl found in SUV.
— Diana Watson (@Fox_DianaWatson) July 14, 2017
— Sally Eastman (@sallyeastman1) July 14, 2017
Never let anger get the best of you. Even if he did cheat, it doesnt justify to use ur "precious" kids as means to punish ur ex. Its selfish
— Judy P (@judypham84) July 16, 2017
— Brandon (@brandon29us) July 15, 2017
Now, reports PEOPLE, police are releasing new evidence in the murder-suicide case involving South Carolina mom Jessica Edens. According to investigators, three handwritten suicide notes were found alongside the bodies of Edens and her young children. The notes were recently released by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, and were reportedly addressed to Edens’ estranged husband, her parents and sister, and the father of her nine-year-old son.
In the note addressed to estranged husband Ben Edens, Jessica reportedly accused him of causing her “more pain than I’ve ever been in in my life.” She wrote that he could no “no longer hurt” her or her children, adding that, “I hope you live with pain and shame and guilt for the rest of your life.”
“To Ben, you have caused me more pain than I’ve ever been in in my life. You have caused my children pain. I hate you. I hope you rot one day for what you have done to me and my kids. You can no longer hurt us. We are at peace. I hope you live with pain and shame and guilt for the rest of your life.”
Edens reportedly also left a final message on her estranged husband’s phone.
Among records was final phone call from Jessica Edens to Ben: “Everyone you love is gone. Do you hear me? I’m about to be gone too." https://t.co/a0IrwRcII0
— Anna Lee (@annazlee) August 7, 2017
According to Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller, Jessica Edens believed that her estranged husband was engaged in a romantic extramarital affair with Rahme. However, according to investigators that was not the case. In the wake of the shocking murder-suicide case, authorities have described Rahme and Ben Edens as nothing more than “acquaintances” and “coworkers.”
In her note to her family members, Jessica apologized for the pain her actions would cause them.
“To my parents and my sister, I am so sorry for the pain I am causing all of you. You’ve all always been there for me and I love you all so much.”
— Lauren Petracca (@LaurenPetracca) July 17, 2017
The South Carolina mom also apologized to the father of her oldest child in a separate suicide note.
“I don’t know what to say. You gave me my first child. I will forever be [grateful] because of you. I never meant to cause you as much pain as this. I am sorry.”
According to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, the decision was made to release the suicide notes so that all of Jessica Edens’ victims could attempt to find closure in the horrific aftermath of her choice to end the lives of herself and three other people.
It was determined that Jessica Edens, 36, used a .40 caliber handgun that she took from her parents’ home while… https://t.co/Uojyr8SmXK
— WBTW News 13 (@WBTWNews13) July 25, 2017
“She developed a plan. [She] made her mind up and she executed that plan and it’s just very tragic for the family and we want to try to give them the best closure we can. That’s why we want to release these documents as best as we are allowed to.”
Investigators believe that Jessica Edens’ two children were still alive when she tracked down Meredith Rahme and shot her to death. A 40-caliber handgun was used in the violent July murder-suicide case, and authorities now believe that the South Carolina mom stole the weapon from her parents.
[Featured Image by Jessica Edens/Facebook]