A lesbian couple was found murdered with their throats slashed alongside their two children in upstate New York on boxing day and they have now been identified.
Shanta Myers, 36, and her 22-year-old girlfriend Brandi Mells were found dead inside the apartment where they had been living in Troy, just outside Albany, at about 12:50 pm on Tuesday. Myers’ two children – five-year-old Shanise Myers and 11-year-old Jeremiah Myers – were also found dead inside the home. Myers has a third child, a son, who doesn’t live with her.
Law enforcement sources told the Albany Times Union that the victims had been found bound and with their throats slashed. Police Chief James Tedesco described the slayings as an act of “savagery.” He added there was evidence it was not a random act.
He said on Wednesday: “After being in this business for almost 42 years, I can’t describe the savagery of this. I don’t have the word.”
The bodies were first discovered by a property manager after being asked by family to check on the welfare of the residents. Autopsies completed on Wednesday afternoon are expected to clarify the timeline of attacks and exactly how the victims were killed. Police have said they still don’t have a suspect for the murders, and don’t want to release a potential motive in the fears of hurting their investigation.
Rev. Jackie Robinson said the family were much loved and respected in the neighborhood. He said Myers had worked as a bus monitor and her children were active in youth programs. Robinson added that he didn’t know anything about Mells.
The pastor added that children at the youth center where Jeremiah played basketball were distraught and crying over news of the killings. He said community members were nervous because the killer remains at large.
Myers has been described by friends as a hardworking mother who was devoted to her children.