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N.C. town aghast over deaths of 4 in murder-suicide

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — A stuffed Mickey Mouse doll, a baby stroller and a pair of leather sandals still lie on the patio at the house where Robin Parker and her three children were found dead in a murder-suicide.

"It's something you see on TV way across the country," said Jeanette Humphrey, who lives across the street. "Not here. Not on my street.

"Cars will come by and drive real slow by the house and then drive out. You know everyone's mind is on it and they can't believe it."

The bodies of Parker, 33, and her children — two girls and a boy — were found on the floor in the garage Tuesday by her fiance, Steven Williams, father of the two youngest. He told investigators a car in the garage was still running when he arrived.

Cartara Quantae Williams was 10, Shonteona Marie Williams would have turned 3 on June 27 and QuaSean DeVon Williams was 11 months old.

An autopsy found the four died of carbon monoxide poisoning, and a coroner ruled the case a murder-suicide.

Their deaths occurred just a day before a funeral for five Houston children whose mother is accused of drowning them in a bathtub.

Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown said last week he couldn't rule out that the deaths might have been inspired by the Houston case.

Williams returned to the house on Thursday to pick up clothes and the car.

"I just don't know how to explain it," he told WNCT-TV. "I just feel torn apart. "She was a perfect mother, outstanding mother. She loved me and I loved her."

A funeral was to be held today.

Investigators had not yet suggested a motive for the deaths.

Court records show Parker had a criminal record that dated to 1988 and Deputy Police Chief Sammy Phillips said she was being investigated for the theft of more than $9,000 taken while she worked as the manager of an apartment complex.

Last year, Parker was ordered to pay $2,991.76 to First Community Finance in a civil judgment, court records show. She also had three felony convictions for embezzling money and forging checks, and three misdemeanor convictions. Two other embezzlement charges were dropped, the Daily News of Jacksonville reported.

Court records were unclear on how much time Parker spent in jail.

Neighbors said the water at Parker's home had recently been turned off and that they didn't think she was employed at the time of the deaths. The Daily News reported that Williams made less than $16,000 per year as a school custodian.

Humphrey said she believes the deaths were accidental.

"That woman and man loved them too much for that," Humphrey said. "I resent someone even thinking that it was an intentional thing."

Mozell Parker agreed, saying her daughter had been behaving normally.

"I talked to her Monday night and she told me what she was going to do (Tuesday). I don't know what happened. I just don't know. I don't think I'll ever understand," she told the newspaper.

Flowers and other memorials have been placed along the curb in front of the house.

"It's a healing thing now," Humphrey said. "It's time to heal and to pray for the family."