An Oklahoma woman and her two adult sons are dead after an incident on Jan. 3 that detectives from the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office are investigating as a murder-suicide.
Sheriff Charles Pearson told KJRH News that investigators believe Rebecca Brown shot her sons, Levi and Garrett Brown, while they slept, then turned the gun on herself.
Levi Brown was 25 and his brother was 24. Rebecca Brown was 48 years old. Many in the area knew her as Beckie Smith. Brown was her last name from a previous marriage.
Tulsa World reports Smith placed a phone call to her brother Saturday morning saying she was going to kill herself. Her brother called 911, asking for deputies to be sent to her house near the town of Webbers Falls.
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Richard Slader, the chief investigator from the sheriff’s office working the case, said the responding deputy saw “something through the window and made entry” into the home and discovered the three bodies.
Deputy Ashley Mullen said investigators are still looking into what might have led Smith to take her own life after killing her sons, including whether she was suffering from mental illness.
“I know she had a lot of medications she was taking,” Mullen said.
Slader told the Muskogee Phoenix that the scene will be investigated as a triple homicide, although most believe the theory that Smith killed her two sons before turning the gun on herself.
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"We will rule out things as we go,” Slader said. “We treated it as suspicious from the start.”
He added that investigators still had a few other people they wanted to talk to.
A .22-caliber rifle was found at the scene. Police said Smith left a suicide note.
The father of Smith’s sons, Leroy Brown, was at the home Saturday morning, hoping to learn more from investigators about what happened to his sons.
“It’s not the call you want to get at 10 o’clock in the morning,” Leroy said. “They were a couple of good boys.”
He said Levi had joined the Army and gone overseas but returned to Oklahoma after his time was up in the military. Garrett was the father of two daughters, ages 3 and 1.
The county medical examiner is expected to perform autopsies on the three bodies.