A HARROWING update has been revealed as a mom, her teen daughter 13, and twins, 4, were allegedly shot dead by her ex-boyfriend.
Jonah L. Adams, 35, was arrested by agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives at around 2pm on Friday, as pictures of the victims were released.
The victims, who were identified as JoAnna Cottle, 39, and her three kids, Kaelyn Parson, 13, Kinsey and Jayson, both four, were found dead from gunshot wounds on Friday morning inside their home in Chesterfield County, Virginia, about 20 miles south of Richmond.
Photos of the victims have been revealed, showing JoAnna smiling broadly, cuddling Kinsey and Jayson on her lap as Kaelyn leans in for a cuddle, as another showed the kids celebrating the holidays,
Police told The Daily Progress they set up surveillance on Adams, as he was taken into custody near his home.
WTVR reports that JoAnna had allegedly seen Adams in a camouflage mask outside the home before the murders.
Just prior to the murders, at around 5am on Friday, JoAnna had called the police for help, suspecting there was an intruder, Colonel Chris Hensley told The Daily Progress.
“She remained on the line with us as the intruder made entry,” he said.
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“There was gunfire and then silence.
“But our officers were on the way and immediately made entry.
“The suspect obviously was not there. But of course they found the four victims, all deceased.
“From an investigative standpoint, we immediately started looking into the family history, and that’s where we immediately recognized Jonah L. Adams as the potential suspect.”
Chesterfield Police Major Mike Louth described the grim discovery, saying it’s “never an easy time” when officers stumbled upon a homicide at a home.
“There’s never an easy time when you go to someone’s house and you find a homicide,” Louth said.
“Not that there’s ever a good time, but certainly around the holidays, that makes it difficult.”
Adams is believed to be the father of the twins, according to The Daily Progress
A motive has not been identified, though Hensley said there had been a history of a turbulent relationship between JoAnna and Adams.
“There was a previous protective order [involving the former couple] — not in effect now — that we identified,” Hensley said.
The officer said there was also friction between the two over the twins, but he was not aware if that involved a custody dispute.
A loving mother
Neighbors and friends described JoAnna to The Daily Progress as a loving, longtime resident of the area.
“I grew up with her,” Latisha Jones, a childhood friend said.
“Elementary, middle, high school, and after.”
Jones said she was aware of the fact that JoAnna may have had problems with an ex-boyfriend, but “didn’t think it would end like that.”
“They were a wonderful family,” JoAnna’s unnamed pastor said.
“They’ll be missed.
“I knew them here [in the neighborhood].
“I’ve been here close to 30 years, so I’ve known them a long time. They’re good neighbors.”
JoAnna’s sister declined to comment when reached by The Daily Progress.
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