Fatal stabbings of mom, 3 kids leave relatives, friends devastated; suspect in custody, authorities say

Friends and family of a 29-year-old Georgia mother and her three children, who were found fatally stabbed in an apartment Wednesday, say the tragedy has come as a total shock to the community, according to reports.

Jerrica Spellman and the children were found dead Wednesday night in a South Columbus apartment complex, WTVM-TV reported. The youngest child was an infant, and the oldest was 3, the report said.

A suspect, identified as 27-year-old Travane Brandon Jackson, has been taken into custody on four counts of family violence, according to the station.

Travane Brandon Jackson has been charged with four counts of murder, police said. 

Travane Brandon Jackson has been charged with four counts of murder, police said.  (Muscogee County Jail)

Spellman and Jackson had been in a relationship and lived together in the apartment at the time of the quadruple murder, authorities said. Jackson shares a name with the three children and his believed to be their father, according to police.

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Those who knew the couple said Jackson seemed to love his kids and worked several jobs to support them.

“All I know is this, that boy grind for those kids and that’s all he used to promote,” a friend of Jackson’s told WTVM-TV. “Two, three jobs, plus that, definitely a shock. I don’t what’s going, pray for both sides of the family.”

A friend of Spellman's told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that she was "full of love and life."

“I still really am feeling like it’s not happening,” she said. “She didn’t deserve that at all. She didn’t do wrong to people; she always wanted to see people in good moods. If you were in a bad mood she’d try to do something funny or say something to make you laugh.”

A Georgia mother and her three young children were found fatally stabbed Wednesday, according to police. 

A Georgia mother and her three young children were found fatally stabbed Wednesday, according to police.  (fbi.gov)

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Spellman’s family, meanwhile, have expressed shock, noting that she was a wonderful mother who would do anything for her children. They said there were no distressing signs between the couple.

“Like I said, it’s a senseless act, you know both families lost out,” said a cousin. “Everybody lost someone and something.”

Fox News' Dom Calicchio contributed to this report.