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Neighbors, friends scrambling to care for kids who lost parents in murder-suicide

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – Neighbors and friends are scrambling to take care of four kids who lost their parents late Monday night in a suspected murder-suicide.

The incident unfolded just after 9:15 p.m. in the 10600 block of Dunkeld Circle in north St. Louis County. Police said 29-year-old Sheena Engstrom was shot dead on her porch by 31-year-old McKinley Jackson in a murder suicide. Their children were inside the home at the time and were unharmed.

Close friends of the estranged couple said they’re all devastated by the loss.

Bianca Brown, who lived next door to Engstrom, said she was a kind, caring mother.

“She was the sweetest person you ever met; do anything for anybody. She helped anyone; she could give the shirt off her back,” Brown said. “Her kids were wonderful. I watched them all the time; they played with my kids all the time.”

Pastor Kevin Aldridge and wife Karen knew the family for over 10 years. They worshiped together at Oasis of Love Fellowship Church nearby and attended daycare. Now they’re looking to do everything they can to support the children.

“It’s always hard when lives are lost, but when it’s close to home it’s that much harder," Pastor Aldridge said.

Meanwhile, investigators said the couple had domestic violence calls to the home in the past.

“We have met with teachers and counselors at their school and we’re devising a plan to make life as normal as possible for them through the transition," Karen Aldridge said.

The four children, ages 2 to 14, will stay with Engstrom’s mother in Fenton as they face a new reality without their parents. At this point, the church is in the process of raising funds to help the children.

If you or someone you know is in a violent situation and in need of help, you can call ALIVE at 314-993-2777 (the phone lines are open 24 hours a day).

A GoFundMe account has been set-up in memory of Sheena Engstrom.