The Greenbrier County Sheriff's Department held a press conference on Thursday, January 21 to disclose the results of an investigation that they had conducted into a house fire that "totally destroyed" a residence near Williamsburg, Virginia on December 8, 2020.
Once the fire was extinguished, investigators slowly began to recover the remains of children from the residence. They were identified as 7-year-old Shaun Dawson Bumgarner, 6-year-old Riley James Bumgarner, 4-year-old Kian Matthew Myers, 3-year-old Arikyle Nova Myers, and 1-year-old Haiken Jarache Myers.
Recovered from a picnic table south of the residence were the remains of 25-year-olf Oreanna Myers, mother of Kian, Arikyle and Haiken, and step-mother to Shaun and Riley.
A medical examination of the children revealed the presence of shotgun pellets in each of the children's remains.
Sloan stated that the family did not have a history with Child Protective Services.
Raven, the biological mother of Shaun and Riley indicated in a comment on the Sheriff's video, that she and her ex-husband Brian had a custody agreement in place, but that she would not have returned the children as scheduled had she known that her ex was not residing at the residence during the week due to transportation issues for work.
Sheriff Sloan disclosed that Brian staying with family in order to be able to get to work during the week instead of staying at home was a "tremendous source of contention" between Brian and Oreanna.
In the days leading up to the murder-suicide, Brian actually called for a wellness check, first from neighbors on Monday morning, then by the Sheriff's department that afternoon, because Oreanna was not responding to his attempts to contact her.
Brian called off the welfare check when an officer made contact with him for more information stating that Oreanna had finally gotten back in contact with him.
Sloan read the text message that Oreanna had sent to him, saying, "Awe, too busy making money to come check on me yourself. Hope that money will love you more than I ever did."
The next morning, December 8, Oreanna sent a text to both Brian and Raven informing them that she was keeping Riley home from school because he was sick.
She sent another text to Brian at approximately 2:20 pm stating, "I left something for you in the vehicle. Its on the driver side floor board. I am sorry I was not strong enough, Brian." Due to cell phone signal in the area of his employment and not having his phone with him while working, he did not get that message until after work on that day.
At approximately 3:34 pm a call came in to 911 reporting flames at the Bumgarner residence and just about ten minutes later, another call came in indicating that the home was fully ingulfed in flames and no one was seen outside the home.
First responders found several notes that Oreanna had left inside of a ziplock bag, duct taped to the side-view mirror of a vehicle.
One, was directions to whomever would happen to find the scene first, asking that they call Brian, Raven, and her mother. "Tell her I'm sorry, this is no one's fault but by own. My demons won over me and there's no going back. So sorry I wasn't strong enough. Thank you. XOXO, OAM."
The second note was titled "My confession."
"I had shot all of the boys in the head. I had set house on fire. I had shot myself in the head. I'm sorry. Mental health is serious. I hope one day someone will help others like me. Mental health is not to joke about or taken lightly. When someone begs, pleads, cries out for help, please help them. You just might save a life or more lives. Thank you, OAM."
Inside the vehicle, on the floor board, another note was found along with her cell phone, diary, and a glass jar containing a crystal and piece of fabric with a spiral symbol.
The note she left for Brian said, "XOXO. I'm so sorry Brian. I was not strong enough for you or this family. My head is so (expletive). I'm sorry for my evil crime. I was not strong enough to fight these demons, snap. crunch, boom, ssshhh. So depressed. Heart numb. Soul completely shattered. I am sorry I failed you. I am sorry I failed our handsome boys. I am so sorry I was not strong enough. OAM."
“We can’t determine why Oreanna Myers chose to end the lives of five children and then take her own life,” Sloan said. “However, through all the facts and evidence obtained during this investigation and all of the information that’s been acquired, that is what we concluded did occur.”
Despite alluding to needing help for mental health issues as disclosed in correspondence between Brian and Oreanna, investigators have not found any indication that she was actively seeking treatment.