Cynthia Collier, 55, brutally killed her adopted kids, Kaileigh Lin Collier, 17, Lia Lin Collier, 15, Bo Li Collier and Meigan Lin Collier, both 14 in what police have called a murder-suicide.
According to an autopsy conducted by Davidson County Senior Associate Medical Examiner David Zimmerman, Kaileigh was shot 13 times in a bathroom in the family’s Columbia, Tenn., home, WKRN reports. Lia was found dead in her bed with nine gunshot wounds. Bo and Meigan were also found dead in their beds, having sustained four and eight gunshot wounds respectively.
Collier’s autopsy revealed that she died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Her death was ruled a suicide, while all four of the children’s deaths were ruled homicides. The five bodies were later discovered by one of Collier’s three biological adult children. A suicide note was reportedly discovered at the scene, but details of its contents have not been released.
Collier, a stay-at-home mom who homeschooled the four victims, “seemed to be a very loving mother, with the exception of this one incident,” according to Maury County Sheriff Bucky Rowland. The Tennessean reports that Collier married her current husband, Randall Collier, the legal father of the victims, in 1982. After raising three biological children one daughter and two sons the couple adopted Kaileigh, Lia, Bo and Meigan from China in 2007. Randall Collier permanently moved out of the family home in 2009 but continued sending $11,500 in child support each month, leaving Cynthia to raise the kids by herself for 11 years, according to WZTV.
The Colliers entered divorce proceedings in the spring of 2018, with Randall seeking partial custody of the children, all of whom he allegedly had little previous contact with. Cynthia and the children fought back in court against the idea of partial custody until the end of May, when the couple suddenly asked for the case to be dismissed.
Authorities say they are still baffled over the gruesome attack and are currently hunting for a motive. “This appears to be a loving home,” Sheriff Rowland said during an October press conference, the Tennessean reports. “It’s an immaculate home and a very loving family. So a motive would be very important to know what would lead someone to do this to her loved ones.”