WINSTON SALEM, NC (WGHP) — The family of a mother police say killed her kids and herself, want to know why this happened. They don’t believe Ethel Steele had it in her heart to pull off a murder-suicide.
On Wednesday, they shared pictures of the Steele family including their last group photo together. And neighbors started a small memorial outside with stuffed animals and flowers.
It is a sign of love, caring and broken hearts as four lives were taken unexpectedly. Family members told FOX8, they saw no warning signs or anything out of the ordinary before they got the call saying their loved ones were dead.
“A cheerleader, dancer, artist, also anime artist, computers,” said Wanda Robinsin-Caton, Ethel’s aunt, as she described the activities the kids loved. KJ, Kendra and Kenya were always busy with activities and traveling.
Their mom, 40-year-old Ethel Steele was a traveling nurse at Novant Health. She also homeschooled the kids. “Ethel was a beautiful, well educated, loving mother, loving sister, loving daughter who took care of the utmost to her children,” Robinson-Caton said.
That is what makes it difficult for her brother and the children’s aunt to understand why she ended things this way. “This was a beautiful family., we come from a family that believes this suicide, that is not us, that is not Ethel,” she said.
Dmon Robinson recounted the last conversation he had with his sister on Friday. “She was fine, I mean, this was so unexpected, I feel like I am in a nightmare and I can’t wake up, it’s the only sister I have,” he said.
The deaths and the loss of children are also creating hurt in the community. “It was just shocking, my kids were kind of nervous and they didn’t understand what was going on,” said Shantell Williams. Her son played with the Steele children. She says there are always kids running around this neighborhood she has called home for 16 years.
“I think we need to do more check ins, more events in the neighborhood because I mean with time now, I think people need to be check in on and we need to have a community outing just to check on everybody and the kids,” Williams said.
The Steele family wants this single mother and her three beautiful kids, ages 9, 12 and 14 to be remembered for the love they gave, their love of travel and how they loved each other. “We aren’t accepting just what we even saw in the newspaper without the police giving us a report, we need a report on what they find in their investigation,” said Robinson-Caton.
Until then, they are finding comfort in Ethel’s home and making sure, a woman they called the glue of the family, is not judged before the facts of the case are known. “She has a legacy, and it will not be this,” Robinson-Caton added.
The family described Ethel as an international woman, with a nursing degree and family law studies. They are working on plans to hold a vigil but those details are not finalized at this time.