In upstate New York, family and friends are mourning the deaths of Shanta Myers, 36, her 11-year-old son Jeremiah, her 5-year-old daughter Shanise, and Myers' 22-year-old girlfriend, Brandi Mells.
The Troy, NY residents were found dead in the basement of Myers' apartment on Dec 26. Myers has another son, a 15 year old, who was out of town when the incident occurred.
As reported by NBC, authorities said this was one of the most brutal murders they've witnessed in years. The new outlet reports that Troy Police Capt. Daniel DeWolf would not discuss details of the crime scene or the cause of death, but law enforcement sources told the Albany Times Union that the victims were bound and their throats were slit.
A motive has not been discussed —despite many leads that have come in— but they did say a preliminary investigation of the crime scene suggested the victims were targeted.
"We don't think there's some madman out there running loose that's going to kill someone else," DeWolf told NBC.
Myers, who was described as good natured and an avid cooker, met and began dating Mells a few months back. Mells, who had dwarfism, lived with her mother but was originally from Newark, NJ. Myers' son Jeremiah was active in their local Boys and Girls Club and played basketball.
Myers' sister Shakera Symes is still trying to wrap her head around the "savagery" of the murders. "I can't understand why somebody wanted to do something like that," Symes told NBC. "It is a complete mystery at this point but I am urging anyone and everyone who has the slightest bit of information at this point to come forward."