A 34-year-old mother killed herself and her two young boys after her husband threatened to leave her, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
The Tampa Bay Tribune reports that Murphy Brown arrived home early Saturday morning to find his wife, Dawn Brown, and two children dead. Dawn reportedly hanged herself from a bedroom ceiling fan with an electrical cord.
As for the cause of death of the two boys, 9-year-old Zander and 5-year-old Zayden (pictured above), authorities are not releasing any details. But, a friend of the husband reportedly found the boys tucked in their beds. The medical examiner’s office will determine the official cause of death after an autopsy is complete.
William Lavold, Murphy’s neighbor, says the possible murder-suicide has shaken the husband to his core. “He can’t function,” Lavold said. “He can’t figure it out. He’s done in. He’s really done in.”
The couple had been experiencing hard times lately, according to the Tribune.
Dawn didn’t work. And Murphy was struggling to make ends meet repairing cars when he could. Since Friday, the Brown’s electricity had been shut off for days. Their home has been in foreclosure proceedings at least three times since 2002, with the latest being in February. Dawn was charged with welfare fraud on June 8, 2011, under her maiden name of Dawn Michelle Barylski. On Sept. 12, she entered a plea of not guilty to the charge.
After her arrest, Brown stopped taking the classes she needed to become a teacher.
“It ruined her life,” Lavold said.
“She loved kids so much,” he said. “It’s hard to see now, but she wanted to take care of children. She wanted more kids.”
But Brown couldn’t get a job with a felony arrest on her record, and she withdrew, Lavold said.