Coroner identifies family killed in SC murder-suicide

thestate.comJanuary 16, 2014 

THESTATE.COM

— The family of four who died earlier this week in a murder-suicide has been identified by the Richland County Coroner.

They are Sheddrick Byron Miller, 38; his wife, Kia Von Miller, 28; their son, Kyler Devane Miller, 3; and their daughter, Syrai Raquel Miller, 1, said Richland County Coroner Gary Watts.

Each person died of a gunshot wound to the head.

It appears that Sheddrick Miller shot his family members and then himself, Watts said. The exact time and circumstances of the deaths remain under investigation, he said.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department said they found the husband, wife and their two young children around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at their home at 1 Forest Walk Court in the Riverwalk neighborhood off Broad River Road.

According to Sgt. Curtis Wilson, spokesman for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, the children were discovered in their individual bedrooms, and the two adults were found together.

Wilson said a handgun was found near the father. The sheriff’s department’s initial assessment is that the incident was a domestic situation. Wilson said authorities would investigate whether any previous domestic calls had been made to the house.

Police were called to the home by the man’s mother. Wilson said she had not heard from her son in a couple of days, went to the house, discovered the bodies and called authorities.

Rachel Hinson, 25, said she had attended bible study at the family’s home and went to Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses with them. She described them as a good family. She said she thought each of the children was younger than 5.

Hinson’s grandmother lives near the family’s house.

“It’s confusing, and it’s not understandable why something like that would happen,” Hinson said.

South Carolina ranks worst in the nation when it comes to men killing women, according to a report by the Violence Policy Center in Washington.

The most-recent Midlands murder-suicide of this magnitude, in which four or more people were killed, was in 2011 when Chancey Foy Smith killed 27-year-old Amanda Peake and her two children in Lexington County’s Red Bank community before turning the gun on himself.

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