Tennessee

Knife with blood found in home where children killed

  • Jerry Taylor,center, pastor of Greater Love Baptist Church, leads a prayer vigil for four children who authorities say were fatally stabbed by their mother on Saturday, July 2, 2016 in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz).

    Jerry Taylor,center, pastor of Greater Love Baptist Church, leads a prayer vigil for four children who authorities say were fatally stabbed by their mother on Saturday, July 2, 2016 in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz).  (The Associated Press)

  • LaSimba Gray, right, in robe, pastor at New Sardis Baptist Church, pours out water from a decanter to honor the lives of four children who authorities say were fatally stabbed by their mother on Saturday, July 2, 2016 in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz)

    LaSimba Gray, right, in robe, pastor at New Sardis Baptist Church, pours out water from a decanter to honor the lives of four children who authorities say were fatally stabbed by their mother on Saturday, July 2, 2016 in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz)  (The Associated Press)

  • Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies work the scene where four young children were fatally stabbed at the Greens of Irene apartment, Friday, July 1, 2016 in Memphis, Tenn.  Four young children were stabbed to death in a gated apartment complex in suburban Memphis on Friday, and police took their mother into custody for questioning.  (Mark Weber/The Commercial Appeal via AP)

    Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies work the scene where four young children were fatally stabbed at the Greens of Irene apartment, Friday, July 1, 2016 in Memphis, Tenn. Four young children were stabbed to death in a gated apartment complex in suburban Memphis on Friday, and police took their mother into custody for questioning. (Mark Weber/The Commercial Appeal via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Sheriff's officials in Tennessee say deputies found a large butcher knife with what appeared to be blood on it in an apartment where a mother killed her four children by cutting their throats.

Court documents say 29-year-old Shanynthia Gardner has been charged with four counts of first degree murder while committing aggravated child neglect in the deaths of her three daughters and one son — all under the age of 5. Their bodies were found after deputies entered her apartment in a gated community in unincorporated Shelby County on Friday. Neighbors and family friends attended a vigil to honor the victims on Saturday.

Gardner also faces four counts of first degree murder while committing aggravated child abuse; four counts of aggravated child neglect or endangerment; and four counts of aggravated child abuse.