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Names released of 2 women, 2 children found slain in home

December 28, 2017
Associated Press

A city youth group was planning grief counseling and police renewed a plea Thursday for people to come forward with any information leading to the killer of two women and two young children in what the police chief called the worst act of "savagery" he's seen in four decades on the job.

Troy police on Thursday identified the victims as 36-year-old Shanta Myers; her children, 11-year-old Jeremiah Myers and 5-year-old Shanise Myers; and 22-year-old Brandi Mells. Police say the women were in a relationship.

Officials have released few details since a property manager who was called to check on their welfare found the bodies Tuesday afternoon in a basement apartment in a house along the Hudson River in Troy, just north of Albany.

Police Chief John Tedesco said he has "never seen savagery like this." He declined to say how the victims were killed, but assured the public there was no imminent danger as it appears the victims were targeted.

"People are very nervous, very concerned that the person who did this crime is still loose," said the Rev. Jackie Robinson, a member of the city's African American Pastoral Alliance. "We're talking about organizing a meeting and inviting the whole community to come and share their concerns, with counselors to try to relieve people of stress and anxiety."

Victory Christian Church of Albany offered a $5,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.

The Troy City School District, partnering with the Boys and Girls Club, planned to offer grief counseling Friday morning at Troy Middle School.

"Our hearts are broken and our thoughts and deepest condolences are with their family and loved ones during this terribly troubling time," School Superintendent John Carmello said in a statement. He said a crisis response team will be on hand next week when children return from holiday recess.

Robinson said Jeremiah, who was called JJ, loved basketball and was a regular at the Boys and Girls Club. "Everyone down there is crying," Robinson said. "He was well-mannered, respectful, happy all the time."

Robinson said "everyone in the neighborhood loved and respected" Shanta Myers, who he said worked as a bus monitor at one time.

Tracy Coleman, who said she's a cousin of the Myers family, posted a message on her Facebook page saying "Our family does not wish to speak at this time. Our hearts are shattered."

The block where the victims lived remained closed to traffic Thursday as the investigation continued, police said.

 
 
 

 

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