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Quadruple Murder Investigation

Columbus Police detectives today worked a north Linden neighborhood and traveled to Warren in hopes of solving a multiple murder case. The bodies of a single mother and her three children were removed late Wednesday from 1500 Loretta Avenue. WOSU's Tom Borgerding reports.

Neighbors say 28-year-old Jamelia West and her three children recently moved to the northeast side neighborhood. The two-story clapboard house features a fence enclosed backyard with a small picnic table and child sized benches. Detective Jim Day says inside, the crime scene yielded few quick clues. He describes the bodies as being in an "advanced stage of decomposition."

"Were there shots fire in this house?" "We haven't determined that for sure yet," says Day. "That's part of what we're looking for, is evidence of that or any other means that was used to cause the deaths of these people."

Across the street, a longtime resident of the Linden neighborhood who declined to give her name says it was evident West loved and cared for her young children.

"Whenever I see her I'd just say good morning' she would say good morning' back, good afternoon,' just give the time of the day. And most likely sitting back and looking at her, she always with her kids, playing with them outside, so you know that is a person of passion, love," she says.

The neighbor adds West sometimes did yard work and mowed the lawn.

"She was just an independent person," she says, "not a woman really looking for a man to do something for her."

But, another neighbor, John Green, says he often noticed a man visiting West's house. And, then last week he was awakened from his sleep in the early morning hours.

"About a week ago, I heard some shots, you know, like eight of them," Green says, "but it was about 2:30 3:00 in the morning, I just got up and I told my wife, then I went back to bed. And it was over that way so I don't know." "So, that was about a week ago today?" "Yes, yeah about a week ago I heard a bunch of shots," says Green.

Detective Day says on-site investigators will comb evidence for better clues in the case. Another team of detectives returned today from Warren, in northeast Ohio, where they questioned a boyfriend of West. He's charged with felony crimes unrelated to the Loretta Avenue deaths.

WOSU does not identify persons of interest or suspects until criminal charges or filed.

Tom Borgerding, WOSU News.