TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The deaths of a young mother and her three small children whose bodies were found in their home are homicides, police said Sunday.
Autopsies were completed Sunday and authorities are looking for information on anyone who may have wanted to harm the family, said Tallahassee police spokesman David McCranie. Police refused to release the autopsy results or how the victims died because making those details public might hurt the investigation, Tallahassee Police Chief Dennis Jones said.
Police said the victims are 27-year-old Brandi Peters, her 6-year-old twin daughters, Tamiyah and Taniyah Peters, and 3-year-old son, Jovante Segura.
Cedrica Smith, who lives across the street, said her kids often played with the slain children. The twins and the boy had different fathers, Smith said, and neither had been married to Peters.
Jones' statement said the crime scene inside the home just a few miles from the state Capitol was violent. There were no signs of forced entry and a broken front window was the result of police entering, he said.
The crime was reminiscent of a March 2005 slaying in Marianna, about 60 miles west of Tallahassee. In that crime, a 19-year-old mother and her three boys ages 3 weeks to 3 years were killed in the woman's apartment.
The father of two of the boys, Wesley Williams, was sentenced to four life terms in prison for the killings. The woman had been shot, while the boys were bound with duct tape and suffocated.
Burglaries had been a problem in the neighborhood of the slayings, though the crimes had waned with increased police patrols. Authorities hadn't been called to the home before Saturday, when the bodies were found, McCranie said.
The single-story home is in a subdivision built about five years ago, surrounded by dense woods and not far from the campuses of Florida State University and Florida A&M University. The neighborhood is made up of a lot of families, McCranie said.
"This is a very shocking and unusual case for us," he said.
The bodies were found after police received a suspicious call Saturday morning.
The street reopened in front of the modest, single-story home, which was otherwise quiet on Sunday except for a single police officer standing guard.