Mother charged with murder following deaths of 4 children

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A local mother has been charged with first- degree murder after police say she stabbed her four children to death in their home.

WREG obtained police documents which state after the horrifying events inside the Greens at Irene Apartments, the father of the deceased children, Martin Gardner, spoke to Shanynthia Gardner over the phone.

She admitted to killing four of their children who authorities said were 4,3,2 and 6-months-old.

Earlier that day, first responders received a call to the home from a neighbor.

They said Gardner’s 7-year-old had come running out of the house, screaming for help.

His sister, he said, had been stabbed.

The neighbor told authorities they saw the mother come out of the home with a large knife in her hand, then re-enter.

In the living room, first responders discovered 6-month-old Yahzi Gardner sitting in her baby carrier and  her sister, 3-year-old Sya Gardner, lying next to her dead.

Both had severe lacerations to their throats.

Four-year-old Tallen Gardner and 2-year-old Sahvi Gardner were found in a bedroom.

Tallen was on the floor while his little sister was on the bed.

They had the same wounds as their siblings.

Gardner reportedly also had cuts to her neck and wrists.

A knife with blood on it was taken into evidence.

WREG discovered another police document from 2015 that stated Gardner was reported missing back on March 19 just days after telling her family she felt like someone was trying to hurt her and her family.

The behavior started on March 16 when Gardner reportedly left work suddenly, picked up her kids and left.

WREG has confirmed Gardner was a part-time employee of ALSAC, the fundraising arm of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

She worked at the off-site call center in Cordova.

That same night she called her husband from Corinth.

Gardner’s mother said at the time her daughter had been stressed, but this behavior was unlike her.

She also said her daughter had not been diagnosed with a mental illness.

On the day she went missing, she was later located at St. Francis Hospital Emergency Room.

On Saturday, Gardner was charged with four counts of aggravated child abuse-endangerment, four counts of aggravated child abuse, four counts of aggravated child abuse-neglect, and four counts of first- degree murder.

She is expected to be in court on July 5.

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