The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has charged Memphis mother Shanynthia Gardner of murdering her four children aged four years and below on Friday.
The 29-year-old mother now faces several charges including four counts of aggravated child abuse endangerment, four counts of aggravated child abuse neglect, four counts of aggravated child abuse, and four counts of first degree murder. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said that Shanynthia was booked Friday just a little after 9 p.m.
According to a report from Associated Press, the bodies of Shanynthia’s three daughters and one son were found when deputies entered the family’s apartment on Friday. The victims were identified as Tallen Gardner, 4; Sya Gardner, 3; Sahvi Gardner, 2 and six month old baby Yahzi Garner.
Only one of Shanynthia’s children survived the attack, 7-year-old Dallen Clayton who is Shanynthia’s son from a previous marriage. He had reportedly managed to escape, yelling to a man that his mother stabbed his sister.
When authorities arrived in the family’s apartment complex, they found that all four children suffered “severe lacerations to the throat.” Baby Yahzi was found dead inside her carrier; Sya was found lying next to her. Meanwhile, the other two children were found dead in the living room. Shanynthia was found in the apartment with a number of superficial cuts around her wrists and neck.
After killing her children, Shanynthia reportedly spoke with her husband, Martin Gardner, over the phone. She admitted to him that she murdered their children.
“This is a terrible act, an egregious act that has shocked, I believe, the community, and has shocked our staff to the core,” said Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Martin pay for the funeral costs of his children. Shanynthia is expected to appear in court on July 5.