Authorities say woman killed her mother, children, self

ATKINS, Ark. (AP) — A 31-year-old woman fatally shot her mother and three children then turned the gun on herself at their home in western Arkansas on Christmas Day, authorities said.

Investigators believe Jaquita Chase killed her four family members and herself at the home in Atkins, Pope County Sheriff’s Sgt. Rodney McNeese told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Atkins is about 65 miles (105 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock.

“Even though the investigation is still ongoing, at this point in the investigation, we are confident in the fact that we believe Jaquita Chase to be the perpetrator in this incident,” McNeese, said.

McNeese said Chase killed her mother Patricia Patrick, 61, and her three children: Abigail Heflin, 12; Levenah Countryman, 10; and Danielle Collins, 7.

A motive in the slayings has not been determined, McNeese told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Sheriff Shane Jones on Monday described the fatal shootings as a murder and suicide.

A family member discovered the bodies on the afternoon of Dec. 25.

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