(NationRise.com) – A family consisting of a single mother and her three children who were found in the remains of a burnt home had gunshot wounds, according to firefighters.
Officials initially believed that 35-year-old Naomi Briner and her children, aged 12, 8, and 6, died in the fire on December 12th. The home was already engulfed when firefighters arrived. It was located near Madison, IN. Officials have since upgraded the case to a criminal investigation.
Authorities have not yet announced whether they have suspects. However, Sergeant Stephen Wheeles with the Indiana State Police said he doesn’t believe that there is a “threat to the public.” They are working with the firefighters and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office on the investigation. He also noted that investigators have had a difficult time setting aside their feelings so that they could properly focus on the case.
Pictures show a grisly scene with a charred roof and vehicle. Christmas lights still adorned the lawn. The cause of the fire has not yet been revealed at the time of this writing.
Briner worked as a health services administrator at a correctional facility. She earned a bachelor’s in nursing while attending Indiana University’s southeastern campus. Autopsies have been scheduled to find more clues that may lead to a suspect. No motivation has been determined at this time.
Neighbors mourned the family’s loss on social media. Briner was described as a “loving mother” by Carol Woodfill, who lived a couple of houses away. Another neighbor, Dean, recalled seeing the children play near his own yard. One of Briner’s closest friends, Sue Sams-Tiner, posted a tribute to the family on social media while expressing her own sadness.
Another friend, Tammy Wood Gross, said that her heart had been “torn out” by the tragedy. She also shared a post showing the recent arrival of a Christmas gift that she ordered for Briner.
Briner’s funeral date has not yet been set. The family said they will release it at a later time.
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