Heartbroken community mourns mom, sons lost in ‘murder-suicide'

Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 5:59 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The deaths of a Hephzibah mother and her twin babies have further broken the hearts of many with the news that the incident was apparently intentional.

Richmond County deputies say 25-year-old Shaquia Philpot drove her car with her 10-month-old twin boys inside into Mayor’s Pond near the Augusta Regional Airport for “unknown reasons” and the three drowned.

Their bodies were found Friday after a fisherman alerted authorities.

Deputies are now changing the investigation from something they’d earlier categorized as an accident.

The incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office now lists the case as a “murder-suicide.” It details what officials found at the scene when they arrived but doesn’t give any clue as to why they think it happened.

Family members and friends say they are having a hard time believing it.

“When I found out it was her, I was stuck, and I didn’t believe it,” said Philpot’s stepbrother, Darius Coleman. “To this day, I still don’t believe it.”

Coleman said he talked to her three or four days ago, and they were laughing and joking.

Other family members say the woman they knew was happy, loving, and a wonderful mother:

  • “She loved her boys. She loved them.”
  • “I wish that I could talk to her before this happened.”
  • “That’s the part that’s killing me to this day.”
This impromptu memorial has sprung up at Mayor's Pond.
This impromptu memorial has sprung up at Mayor's Pond.(WRDW)

Friends and community members honored her and the boys by setting up a memorial at the pond and releasing balloons in their memory.

Philpot’s family members say the woman they knew was happy, loving and a wonderful mother.

Right now, family members and investigators say they have more questions than answers.

Authorities say they hope the autopsy results will give them some kind of idea about how and why this happened.

Until then, they say the investigation is ongoing.

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