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A US mother who killed her five children, including her two stepchildren, was reportedly “into witchcraft”.
Brothers Kian (4), Aarikyle (3), Haiken (1) and their stepbrothers Shaun (7) and Riley (6) were shot dead at their West Virginia home in early December.
The boys’ mum Oreanna Myers shot the children before burning down the home and taking her own life.
Following their deaths, Raven Bumgarner, the mother of Shaun and Riley, said she felt like her soul had been “ripped out” and described Myers as “evil”.
She has since revealed the 25-year-old was into witchcraft, would talk about rituals and kept crystals in jars.
Shaun and Riley Bumgarner were killed by their stepmother Oreanna Myers in December. Credit: Morgan Funeral Home
“She was always talking about the phases of the moon and these rituals and tarot cards and different books and witchy things.
“She was like, ‘Oh this moon is in this phase, this is a ritual for new beginnings, I’m going to go and run naked in the fields.”
Bumgarner added Myers collected dead butterflies and stored them in jars.
Myers’ Facebook profile had been deleted but her Instagram page, which features dozens of photos of spiritual quotes, flowers and jars filled with dead insects, remains.
The child victims ranged in age from one to seven years old. Credit: Morgan Funeral Hom
Greenbrier County Sheriff Bruce Sloan said the bodies of the five boys were found inside the house while Myers was found outside near a picnic table with a mysterious red line drawn across her face.
But despite her interest in witchcraft, Sloan said he didn’t believe the incident was a ritual killing.
“There was history that Oreanna was involved in some occult practices, witchcraft and spiritualism, contacting the dead,” Sloan told The Sun.
“It’s not normal, is it unheard of? No.”
Sloan said last week an investigation led police to understand she was battling depression.
Oreanna Myers, 25. Credit: WVNS
Four letters, which appeared to be left by Myers, were found following the tragedy.
“This is no one’s fault but my own. My demons won over me,” she wrote.
“Sorry, I wasn’t strong enough. 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.”
West Virginian woman Oreanna Myers, 25, was found dead at her home in December. Credit: Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department
How the horror unfolded
Sloan told reporters last week that Myers had been upset her husband Brian Bumgarner had been staying with his father for a fortnight.
Bumgarner had chosen to stay with relatives in order to get a lift to work while the family’s sole vehicle was undergoing repairs after a crash.
The tragedy began to unfold on the afternoon of December 8 when Myers picked up two of her sons from the bus stop at the end of the school day.
She usually brought her younger children to the bus stop to pick up the others.
But that day, the younger boys were nowhere to be seen.
Two of the boys killed in the horrific crime. Credit: Morgan Funeral Home
Video footage from the bus shows one of the boys she is picking up asking if she has blood on her face, after he noticed she had red marks on her face.
She told the boy that she had drawn on her face, and they walked off together towards the house.
An hour later, firefighters were called to the family home, which was entirely engulfed in flames.
When firefighters arrived, the family home was entirely engulfed in flames. Credit: NBC
Sloan said there had been no prior history of mistreatment of the children or referrals from Child Protective Services.
He wasn’t sure whether she had previously sought treatment for her mental health.