by: Liz Artz, Tony Thomas Updated:
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Gwinnett County police said a man and four children were found stabbed to death in a Loganville home Thursday morning.
When officers arrived at the home on Emory Lane, they found the victims dead. A fifth child was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
Police believe the killings occurred between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.
The victims were identified by police as Martin Romero, 33, Isabela Martinez, 10, Dacota Romero, 7, Dillan Romero, 4, and Axel Romero, 2.
Diana Romero, 9, is in serious, but stable condition at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
The mother of the children, identified as Isabel Martinez, 33, has been charged with 5 counts of murder. Police said she made the 911 call Thursday morning.
She is being held in the Gwinnett County jail without bond. She is scheduled to make her first court appearance Friday morning.
“The suspect we have in custody is the wife/mother of the victims involved,” said Gwinnett County Police spokesperson Michele Pihera.
Jim Hollandsworth runs Path Project, a local nonprofit that works with children in the area, and told Channel 2's Tony Thomas that the family had just moved into the area a few months ago.
"The kids were fantastic kids. They had tons to live for and a future ahead of them, so it's awful and devastating," he said.
Neighbors said the victims' family is having a hard time processing what happened.
"They don't know what to do, where to go, what to believe," neighbor Debra Klingman said.
Neighbors said Martinez was depressed over her father's death, but otherwise seemed to be a loving mother and wife.
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"She seemed so normal, like a regular mother,” said neighbor Letty Perez. “She was good, went to our church last weekend. She was there with us."
When Channel 2’s Liz Artz asked Perez if she thought the suspect was a good mother, she replied, “Yes she was a good mother, definitely a good mother."
The Gwinnett County Police Department said this crime was "horrendous."
Channel 2 Action News’ cameras were rolling as family gathered in the street and hugged. Perez said Martinez was depressed over the death of her father in Mexico.
“She said her dad passed away months ago, she was in depression and we go to her house and pray sometimes for her dad,” Perez said.
One neighbor said the family hadn't been seen all Wednesday. It was so unusual they sent a cousin to check on them around 4 p.m.
“One of the cousins came and knocked on door, no one answered… suspicious," the neighbor said.
Family members have set up a GoFundMe page if you would like to help.
Neighbors confirm this is the 9yr old that survived attack this morning . Police say she is in serious condition after stabbed by mother . pic.twitter.com/pg65Onqu2d— Tony Thomas (@TonyThomasWSB) July 6, 2017
Neighbor: suspect mom was depressed about father dying.They prayed about it in church last Sun., but no indication she wld kill her children pic.twitter.com/FGr2WwqU8j— Liz Artz (@LizArtzWSB) July 6, 2017
Homicide update: 1 adult male & 4 young children are deceased, 1 child transported to hospital with serious injuries. Mom/wife detained. pic.twitter.com/rlVJRJavCQ— Gwinnett Police Dept (@GwinnettPd) July 6, 2017
BREAKING: headed to stabbing Scene in Gwinnett County. Police say man & several children found dead. Live updates @wsbtv— Liz Artz (@LizArtzWSB) July 6, 2017
© 2017 Cox Media Group.
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