Family, friends in shock after mom allegedly kills kids, self - FOX 13 News

Family, friends in shock after mom allegedly kills kids, self

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CLEARWATER (FOX 13) -

It was a horrific discovery: Two little boys found dead inside their Clearwater home.

The killer, authorities say, was their mother, who had also taken her life. It's still not exactly clear what happened inside the home on Sidney Street, but it has left the community in shock.

The two children were just 5 and 9 years old. A small makeshift memorial has been setup just outside the home where it all took place, and grief counselors are expected to be at both schools where the children went.

While we're learning more about the family, no one knows exactly what 34-year-old Dawn Brown was thinking when she took her life and the lives of Zander, 9, and Zayden, 5.

Investigators said it all unfolded Saturday morning. Her husband, Murphy Brown, was not at the home but discovered all three. As it turns out, just hours before the kids were killed, he told his wife he wanted to leave her.

"I'd say the only thing that would make any family member do this is like a devil knocking on the door," said family friend William Lavold, who received the news via text.

The entire neighborhood has been turned upside down, with people obviously disturbed by what has happened. Another mother who knew the family said there were no warning signs.

"It was only three weeks ago we had an open house, and there was mom happy, bubbly, talking to the teacher," Nicole Bell said. "You don't come if you don't care."

"You do what you need to do to yourself, but your children, where on this earth was your mind? Not in your head."  

Apparently the family had been struggling quite some time. Dawn was arrested last year on welfare fraud charges. The home had been in foreclosure proceedings at least three times since 2002, and we're told the power to the family's home had been shut off for days.

They were relying on a neighbor for power.

People are now leaving memories of the children outside the home. They are described as happy and active. The father says he can't bring himself to return to the home, and he doesn't have money to bury the children.

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