COLUMBUS -- A man was charged with murder Saturday in the stabbing deaths of his girlfriend and her two children after she didn't show up for Thanksgiving dinner or work the following day, police and relatives said.
Police said officers found the three victims with knife wounds in their Columbus apartment on Friday. Also discovered in the apartment was the suspect, who police said had self-inflicted stab wounds.
Caron E. Montgomery, 36, was arrested Saturday at Riverside Methodist Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.
Police said in a statement that Montgomery was charged with three counts of murder. It wasn't immediately clear whether he had an attorney.
Killed were 31-year-old Tia Hendricks, along with her children, 10-year-old Tahlia Hendricks and 2-year-old Tyron Hendricks-Montgomery.
Tia Hendricks' aunt, Anita Hayes, said Montgomery was her niece's live-in boyfriend and the boy's father. She said they had lived at the apartment since September.
"It just seems so unreal. You read about this stuff in the paper, but you don't expect it to happen in your own family," Hayes said.
Hendricks worked as a financial collector for years and grew close with friend and colleague Monique Robinson.
"We talked, like, literally every day," Robinson said. She called Hendricks twice Wednesday night with no answer and a few times on Thanksgiving to wish her a happy holiday. By Friday, when Hendricks didn't show up to work and hadn't returned a single phone call, Robinson sensed something wasn't right.
She called Hendricks' mother and they went to her apartment complex with a few relatives. They knocked on her door, and after no one answered, a maintenance worker took them to a rental office and an employee called police. Authorities found the bodies inside.
Outside the apartment complex Friday, Hendricks' older sister, Kelly Hendricks, cried and her father hugged her. Robinson held her camera and clicked through photos of Hendricks smiling at parties.
Tia Hendricks had just taken on a second job as a cashier at Burlington Coat Factory to earn extra money for Tahlia and Tyron.
"She said, `I want the kids to have a good Christmas,"' Robinson said.