A North Carolina family had visited their local sheriff's office and had made a series of cryptic communications with deputies mere hours before the father shot and killed his girlfriend and their two children, set their home ablaze and killed himself in an apparent murder-suicide, authorities said.

The surveillance footage from the Davie County Sheriff’s Office lobby in North Carolina at about 12:11 p.m. on April 18, showed the 26-year-old suspected killer, Aschod Ewing-Meeks waiting to meet officers with his girllfriend, Ashton Brown, 26, and their two children Bella, 4, and Brixtyn, 8 months.

North Carolina Murder-Suicide
The family walked into the sheriff's office around 12.10pm on April 18, seeking to speak with a deputy. FOX8 WGHP.

The family, however, didn’t make it past the reception desk, officials said.

About two hours later, Ewing-Meeks shot and killed his girlfriend and their two children and then set their house on Junction Road in Davie County on fire and turned the gun on himself, according to the Davie County Sheriff JD Hartman.

At a press briefing last week, Hartman referred the incident as "one of the worst, if not the worst" case he had ever witnessed.

Officials said the family was "vague" about what they wanted and had made several attempts to speak with authorities before their deaths, Fox 8 reported.

They "just wanted to talk to an officer." The receptionist reportedly gave them a phone number to contact the department and they left.

"There was nothing out of the ordinary. They really wouldn't interact with the receptionist or tell her what they wanted," Hartman said.

Hartman went on to describe the timeline of events leading up to the April 18 tragedy.

At 12:35 p.m., Brown called 911 again, apparently from inside a car, asking to speak with a deputy. She said the family had safety concerns but failed to specify what their concerns were.

About eleven minutes later, a deputy called Brown back and spoke to the mother-of-two, who told officials she had been calling on behalf of Ewing-Meeks.

But the call dropped or was ended after 32 seconds, the sheriff said.

After the initial conversation, authorities called the family back three more times. Each call thereafter was answered by Aschod. Every call was either dropped or ended, Hartman said.

North Carolina Murder-Suicide
Aschod Ewing-Meeks with his 4-year-old daughter, Bella. Facebook.

During the longest call, which lasted about six minutes, Ewing-Meeks "advised with the officer that he thought that someone was following him, but he wasn't in danger, they weren't threatening him," said Hartman. "The officer attempted to get them to come back to the sheriff's office. They were driving around; they wouldn't tell the officer where they were."

After the call, the officer made two more attempts to reach Ewing-Meeks, at shortly after 1 p.m., but the calls went directly to voicemail, the sheriff added.

At about 2 p.m., a neighbor saw Ewing-Meeks and Brown arguing in front of their home. The couple went inside and the neighbor left.

About fourteen minutes later, a passerby driving down Junction Road saw smoke coming out of the house and rushed to the local fire station to report the house fire.

Firefighters extinguished the fire and recovered the victims’ bodies from inside the home.

"I’ve seen a lot in 30 years but children, and especially children that are killed by gunshots and burned, is pretty heinous," Hartman said.

Both children were found in the kitchen and Brown in the bedroom doorway. Police said Ewing-Meeks was found at the end of a hallway, near the kitchen, with a gun in his hand.

North Carolina Murder-Suicide
Ashton Brown and their children, Bella and Brixx. Facebook/Ashton Brown.

A preliminary on-scene investigation revealed the fire had been intentionally set, however authorities have not released details of how or where it originated.

"All four victims are deceased from gunshot wounds," Hartman told reporters. "The fire was intentionally set. Mr. Meeks was deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and we found the gun that matches all of this actually still in Mr. Meeks' hand."

A GoFundMe page has been launched to help cover the funeral expenses and honor the mother and her young children.

This is a representational image. geralt/Pixabay

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.