Officials have released the name of the Tennessee mother who allegedly stabbed her four young kids to death inside her apartment in Memphis. Twenty-nine-year-old Shanynthia Gardner has been accused and, earlier today, formally charged of stabbing four of her five kids to death inside her home on Friday, NY Daily News reports.
The report adds that Gardner has been charged with four counts of first degree murder, four counts of aggravated child abuse – endangerment, and four counts of aggravated child abuse – neglect for her horrific crime. All the children were below the age of five, with the youngest child being just six months old. An older child, aged 7, was able to escape the apartment and was able to call for help, alarming deputies who were able to arrive at the scene a short time later. Initial reports say that an emergency call reporting the incident was made at around 12:30 p.m., local time. Deputies reached the apartment within 10 minutes, at around 12:40 p.m.
According to court documents accessed by Fox 13 Memphis News, Shanynthia Gardner reportedly told her husband on phone about her crime, minutes after she allegedly slit the throats of the four kids and left the children to die. By the time deputies from the Shelby County Sheriff’s office reached the apartment, all the children had died. The documents also reveal that two of the kids’ bodies were found in the living room while two other children were found dead in a bedroom, lying motionless on the floor. Gardner was also reported to have been injured with cuts visible on her neck and wrists. At this time, it is unclear whether these injuries were self-inflicted or were caused when the kids resisted the attack. Pictures of the children killed by Shanynthia have also been released.
Meanwhile, Earle Farrell, the official spokesperson for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, revealed that the older child who managed to escape was from a different father. The older child is now being cared for by the family of Gardner’s husband, the boy’s stepfather.
“He was able to get out of the house unharmed,” Farrell added.
According to eyewitnesses, on the day of the incident, Gardner’s 7-year-old son was seen screaming for help and yelling that his sister was hurt. Another eyewitness claims to have seen Shanynthia briefly come out of her apartment with a knife in hand, before going back in. Authorities have confirmed the ages of the four dead children. The youngest child was just six months old while the other three kids were aged 2, 3, and 4. They also add that Shanynthia Gardner acted alone and that her husband was away when the incident happened. He has not been charged. An ambulance was not called to the scene of the crime after deputies deduced that the children had been “dead for a long time.”
According to Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham, at this time, there is no indication as to what prompted Shanynthia Gardner to take the extreme step of killing her young children. Investigation is still underway to determine a cause. In a statement issued to reporters on Saturday, he described the incident as an “egregious act of evil that has shocked us to our core.”
“One of the most difficult questions in any investigation is always, ‘Why did this happen?’” Bill added.
Meanwhile, neighbors living in in the apartment complex, a gated community, were shocked to hear about the crime. Some neighbors even burst into tears after hearing about the manner in which Shanynthia Gardner killed her children..
“I can’t fathom that. What would babies do to make you do that?” said Patricia Johnson, who lives nearby.
A friend Shanynthia’s husband has set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the funeral expenses of the kids. They are aiming to raise over $50,000 for the cause.
[Image Via Pixabay]