Some call it mother's intuition to describe what a mother felt Monday morning after she dropped off her toddler at a home day care.She returned to the house a few minutes later to find her toddler safe with three adults inside –– shot dead.
"At 6:28, I heard screaming," said neighbor Hakeem Hughes, 18. "I didn't know if it was arguing. I thought it must be kids playing in the backyard, but it's kind of early for that. It was a girl that was screaming. I don't know if it was a woman or a kid," The Bellingham Herald reported.
Hughes added that "nothing usually happens" in his neighborhood. "I wasn't really expecting that, because they're really nice people. I'm just shocked people can just go into a house and kill three people like that."
According to CBS news, Police Inspector Todd Milburn said the mother dropped off her child at the house and spoke with someone there. As she was leaving, she saw a man near the house on foot, and something about him raised her suspicions.
“There was some reason for her to call back to the home,” Milburn said.
The woman called the day care and was talking to someone at the house when the line went dead, Milburn said. She returned to the home and found three people had been shot. She grabbed her child and called 911. Police confirmed the victims were dead when they arrived.
No one else was inside the home when the woman returned, Milburn said.
Milburn said the woman saw the same suspicious man nearby, on a bicycle, when she returned to the day care.
Police aren't releasing the victims' identities but Christopher Brown, DeLois Brown's brother-in-law, confirmed that DeLois,59, and her parents, James and Clover Bolden, are the victims, Kare11 news reported. Christopher Brown lives in St. Louis, Missouri and just saw the family a few weeks ago.
"We're just hoping and praying that the rest of the family the daughters and grand children will be protected and uplifted," Christopher Brown said.
The day care, called Visions and Butterflies Child Care, is licensed to care for as many as 12 children. Brown is listed in state records as the license holder in good standing, with no adverse rulings or restrictions. The license is valid through February 2013.
Ron Brown, DeLois' brother-in-law, told the Associated Press, that DeLois had just moved her parents to Minnesota from the St. Louis area. He said his brother, Joseph, died in February, and DeLois brought her parents up to Minnesota from Illinois just last week so she could take care of them
"She called us a week ago today, to say they made it back safe and sound with a truckload of furniture," Ron Brown said.
Brown’s LinkedIn profile lists her as follow-up coordinator for Pink Purse Project Inc., a women’s and girls’ empowerment organization. She worked for nearly nine years in the nearby Osseo Area Schools system as a child care instructor and later child care site supervisor.
According to Kare11 news, the suspect left the scene on a BMX bicycle. He was seen wearing a blue hoodie and blue jeans. He is described a thin black male in his early 20's. Police are offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading up to a conviction.
A neighbor, Lisa Johnson said she didn't hear shots but thought she heard glass breaking at the home,The Bellingham Herald reported. Her daughter, Elisha Johnson, 20, told the paper she was worried that the suspect was still on the loose. "That's the scariest part for me," she said.