Oreanna Myers, a 25-year-old mother, shot and killed her five children and set their house on fire before turning the gun on herself in a horrific murder-suicide in December, the Greenbrier County Sheriff announced last week after the investigation concluded.
In a press conference, the sheriff said on December 8, Myers killed her three biological children, Kian Myers, 4; Aarikyle Nova Myers, 3; and Haiken Jirachi Myers, 1; as well as her two step-children Dawson Bumgarner, 7; and Riley James Bumgarner, 6. Her husband Brian Bumgarner was at his father’s house during the incident where he stayed during the work week since their car was out of commission after an accident.
Sheriff Bruce Sloan said a neighbor called 911 to report that the family home was on fire and first responders found Myers next to the murder weapon outside the destroyed home. Sloan said she left a suicide note and a will for her husband taped inside their car.
Myers Left a Suicide Note Saying She Wasn’t Strong Enough & Apologizing for Her Crime
During the press conference, Sloan said Myers was suffering from depression and she wasn’t happy that Bumgarner wasn’t staying with the family during the workweek because of their vehicle issues. The sheriff explained that Myers had sent texts to her husband in the days prior to the tragedy urging him to stay at their home, including one which read: “Don’t worry about this piece of [expletive] anymore. You’ll have nothing to come back to but to corpse [sic]. You choosing money over my depression shows I am a piece of [expletive]. No one cares why should I?”
Sloan reported that on December 8, Myers picked up two of the children from the bus stop and video of that moment showed that she had a red line painted across her face. Her sons asked her if she was bleeding, Sloan reported, and Myers said she drew it on herself. Only an hour after they were dropped off, the neighbor called 911 to report that the house was ablaze.
After the blaze was extinguished, authorities said the bodies of the five victims were found in the house and Sloan said they all had shotgun wounds to the head. He also explained that it was not an automatic weapon and she reloaded between each shot. She left several notes behind for Bumgarner apologizing for her actions and wrote, “I’m sorry for my evil crime. I was not strong enough to fight these demons.”
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with assistance in English and Spanish. You can also speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7 by texting HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.
Myers’ Husband Has Come Forward to Talk About What Happened & Urge Compassion
Brian Bumgarner took to social media after the murder-suicide to thank his friends and family for their support during what he said was “a truly dark time.” Although his Facebook profile has now either been deleted or set to private, The Sun reported that Bumgarner wrote a day after the incident: “I can’t get back to all of you but in a truly dark time, I feel like I could fall and all of you guys would catch me. I gives me something….. idk what. May it be hope or strength or grit I dont know. All I know is I have something and that’s not nothing!!!!”
The outlet wrote that Bumgarner then shared another post that read, “Here’s my advice. Hug everyone you love a lot tighter. Never leave someone in an argument. Be Present. Say I love you way too much. Take a lot of pictures with the ones you love. You never know when it’ll be the last time you see them. Please don’t take any second for granted.”
An obituary for the boys described their interests and personalities, such as Shaun who was “interested in space and wanted to be an astronaut” and Riley who “was learning to play the piano and the ukulele.” The youngest, Haiken, was “spoiled by all.”