On Monday, May 23, Castle Rock police found the bodies of two children in a suburban home in the Founders Village neighborhood of the south Denver neighborhood of Castle Rock, according to multiple reports.
Police officers responded to a call from a woman telling dispatchers that she was going to commit suicide early this morning. When the dispatcher asked the woman if there were any children in the home, the woman said that the children were "in heaven," according to a 9news report.
Toxicology test results from the Douglas County Coroner's Office have been returned negative. The cause of death for Liam Murphy, 9, and his sister Madigan, 6, is asphyxiation.
The woman who called 911 at 7:48am on Monday, May 23, to report she had slashed her wrists and was attempting suicide, has been identified as Kelli Lynn Murphy, the 41-year-old mother of the two children found dead, and has been arrested on charges of two counts of first-degree murder. She may face other charges including child abuse in the deaths of her children, Police Chief Tony Lane says to The Denver Post.
Police arrived at her suburban home and found her 9-year-old son Liam and her 6-year-old daughter Madigan already dead in their bedrooms with no sign of visible injury. Murphy has been treated at Sky Ridge Medical Center and was released for her wounded wrists from her suicide attempt, according to 7News.
Robert Eric Murphy, the father of Liam and Madigan and former husband to Kelli, worked for Qwest Communications and is not a suspect in the ongoing investigation, police reports indicate.
According to 7News and documents obtained by 9News, Lane said that the woman and her husband were separated and going through divorce proceedings, had filed for bankruptcy and court records indicate that Kelli had even filed for restraining order against her husband citing domestic abuse.
According to 7News, the restraining order accused Robert of being physically abusive to Kelli and the children, allegedly grabbing Madigan, 6, by the throat and verbally threatening her. Kelli had never reported her husband, according to the court documents, and she later asked the court to dismiss the temporary restraining order, which was eventually withdrawn.
The day before, on Sunday, the Castle Rock police were called to the home by the husband who had asked the police to check on his children for reasons that are still unknown, but were "related to this" incident according to a statement made by Lane to The Denver Post. The police responded and the children were left in the home on Sunday. On Monday, the day of the incident, a hearing was scheduled to work out a parenting schedule and child support issues between the father and mother.
In statements made in documents obtained by 7News. Kelli stated:
I do not want to divorce my husband. We filed papers wrongly out of anger. This needs to stop. We need counseling, NOT a divorce. After attending the parenting class, I know we need to pursue every method we can to save this marriage, keep our family together before it is too late.
Kelli wanted to also delay the Monday child support and parenting schedule, but Robert objected to the delay on grounds that he felt that Kelli was being inflexible with regards to sharing the children in a reasonable manner, according a report by 7News.
The deceased children were both students at Rock Ridge Elementary school and crisis counselors are present at the school today to help distraught children cope with this tragedy, according to Fox 31.
When the police arrived they found the dead bodies of a 6-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy in their bedrooms. The cause of death has yet to be determined and there were no sign of injury on their bodies, according to The Denver Post. The woman was found alive and taken to a local hospital to treat injuries found on her wrists. A CBSDenver report is stating that the woman found was the mother of the two children, but full details are still unknown.
Police are investigating the deaths of the children as a double homicide.