TAMPA, Fla. – A suburban Tampa mother covered the bodies of her two teenage children with blankets after shooting them in the head, then went to the back porch where police found her unconscious in a blood-soaked robe the next morning, according to a court document made public Tuesday.
A search-warrant affidavit filed with the court said two police officers found 50-year-old Julie Schenecker unconscious on the screened back porch of the upscale home Friday morning, her white robe covered with dried blood. Schenecker's mother had called from Texas and asked police to check on her daughter, who had been depressed and complaining about her children.
The warrant said one officer woke her up and took her inside to talk, while the other went looking for the children.
One of the officers found the covered body of Schenecker's 16-year-old daughter, Calyx, in a bed upstairs, the affidavit said. The body of her 13-year-old son Beau was found in a van in the garage, also covered with a blanket. She told detectives she killed them for being "mouthy."
Schenecker told detectives she had shot her son twice in the head in the van "for talking back" while she drove him to soccer practice Thursday night. She said she returned home and killed her daughter with two shots to the head while the girl sat at a computer doing homework. She then apparently moved her to a bed.
Both teens were killed with a .38-caliber pistol, which authorities say Schenecker bought five days earlier.
Bullets, medication and a Smith & Wesson instruction manual were among the items found in the master bedroom and bathroom upstairs, the document said. It did not specify what type of medication was found.
Schenecker was ordered held without bail Monday during a brief court hearing during which she did not speak.
Neither Schenecker nor her husband, Parker — an Army intelligence officer who was working in the Middle East when the shootings happened — had a criminal record. Child welfare workers investigated a complaint by Calyx that her mother, with whom she often fought, had slapped her on at least two occasions, most recently in November. Documents released by the state agency said the family was in counseling and the children did not seem to be in any danger.