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Family: Mother In Possible Murder-Suicide Battled Depression

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BOURBON, MO (KTVI) - The shooting deaths of three children and their mother are difficult for their west St. Louis County neighbors to understand. 'There was no indication of any problems,' said Jeff Melching.  He just moved into his home on Arbor Bluff Circle off Big Bend this past week. 'They were talking to me like normal neighbors would when you meet somebody for the first time,' Melching said.

The victims were found Saturday afternoon at a camping resort near Bourbon, Mo.    The Crawford County Sheriffs department is investigating and is not ruling out the possibility of a murder-suicide.  A gun was found alongside the victims. Authorities identify the victims as Christine Adewunmi, 37 and her three children.  Lauren Adewunmi, 8, was in second grade.  Samantha Adewanmi, 6, was in second grade and Kate Adewunmi was 3 and starting preschool.

The girls all attended Oak Brook Elementary in the Parkway School District.'Our thoughts are with the Adewunmi family as they deal with this tragedy in their lives,' said the school`s principal through a letter emailed to parents.Students will be on spring break this week but the district promises support and additional resources for students who might struggle when they return. The links the district sent parents through a letter are as follows:

http://childgrief.org/documents/InformingofDeath.pdf and http://www.ccascounseling.org/Telling%20Children%20About%20Death.htm

St. Louis County Police received a call on Friday from the father of the girl`s and the husband of the wife.  Police say he reported his family missing, telling them they were gone when he came home from work on Friday. A spokesman for the department said there were no signs of any danger at that time.  St. Louis County is no longer involved with the investigation. The investigation in the victim`s deaths is being handled by the Crawford County Sheriff`s department.

Statement from the family of Christine Adewunmi:
It is with a heavy heart and extreme sadness that we release this statement about Christine, Lauren, Samantha and Kate Adewunmi.  This is a very challenging time for the family and friends and we appreciate all the support, prayers and love.

Christine Adewunmi was a loving and devoted mother.  She spent the last 9 years making her children the number one priority in her life – going to the park, taking them on vacations, playing in the yard and making sure they had a good childhood.

Christine was battling depression. Family, friends and professionals were supporting her recovery and stood by her side as she coped with the debilitating disease. Depression is difficult to understand and a serious illness that is hard to comprehend.  No one knew the depths of her problem or could ever foresee this tragedy occurring.  We cannot understand why this has happened and are dealing with this tragic loss one minute at a time. We firmly believe the Christine we knew and loved would never intentionally hurt her children.

As the days go on, we pray for Leonard Adewunmi as he deals with this horrible loss.  He is a proud and loving father of his three smart, beautiful and talented little girls.  As an involved and caring dad, he will miss cooking with Lauren, playing soccer with Sammi, and singing to Kate. Leonard is a devout Catholic and family man that worked very hard to give his wife and children a wonderful life.  Please respect his privacy as he has just lost his entire family.