A friend of a family found shot to death at their Houston home says relatives can't understand why it took authorities four visits and repeated 911 calls before going inside.

Jesi Greening, who has served as a spokeswoman for the family, shared with reporters Friday Facebook messages that one of the victims, Valerie Jackson, had sent to her mother in Minnesota saying she was being held at gunpoint. Greening says one of the messages indicates Jackson was alive after deputies' first visit on Saturday.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office has said deputies couldn't go in until they saw the body of one of the children through a window.

Jackson's ex-domestic partner is jailed, facing capital murder charges in the deaths of the six children and two adults.