Stokes County school honors boys killed in apparent murder-suicide

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KING, N.C. -- More than a week after a Stokes County family of four was killed in an apparent murder-suicide, their remaining family members tell FOX8 that dealing with what happened keeps getting harder.

Coleton and Amanda Tarpley, along with their two sons, Coleton VI and Charlie, were found dead in their home on Ralph Boyles Road on Wednesday, February 4. Deputies say each member of the family died as a result of a single gunshot wound to the head.

Coleton VI and Charlie were both students at Poplar Springs Elementary School in King.

"It was one of those things that you never think that you're going to deal with," said Libbie Marshall, Charlie's teacher.

"It's been very difficult in the last few days here at Poplar Springs and we just wanted to have a celebration," said Shannon Boles, Principal of Poplar Springs Elementary.

Joined by the boys' families, the students and staff released hundreds of balloons into the sky in their honor.

"The balloon release ceremony is such a good thing for the children because, just like adults, we need closure; the children, they need closure, too," Marshall said. "We're trying to tell those little boys goodbye, but that they're not forgotten; that we'll remember them."

"I don't want their memory to die. I want us to be able to keep it alive," Boles said. "I don't want it to fade away with the balloons that we let go today."

Faculty members said they also plan to plant butterfly bushes around the playground, as well as dogwood trees in memory of Coleton VI and Charlie.