COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Three people found dead inside a Vinings town home have been identified as the former wife and two adult children of a prominent Atlanta surgeon and community leader.
A family friend identified the victims as Dr. Marsha Edwards, 58, Christopher Edwards Jr., 24, and Erin Edwards, 20. Marsha Edwards' ex-husband, Dr. Christopher Edwards, is a well-known orthopedic surgeon and chairman of the Atlanta Housing Authority.
Their bodies were found inside a town home on Nobility Way in Vinings around 6 p.m. Wednesday. The gated community is just southeast of Cumberland Mall and SunTrust Park.
Police confirm the victims were found when officers performed a welfare check. All three victims died of apparent gunshot wounds.
Police say their deaths were the result of a murder-suicide and identified the suspect as the mother, Marsha Edwards.
Channel 2's Tom Regan talked to neighbors, who can't believe what happened.
"For something like this to happen and unfold, it's unbelievable," Talia Cartall said. "We didn't hear anything. There was no sign of violence or anything."
Cartall said that as far as she knew, there was no turmoil within the family.
"From our knowledge, no malice," Cartall said. "Between the children, nothing like that. They just seemed like a normal, happy, cool family."
Channel 2's Nicole Carr talked to nearly a dozen friends and family members over the phone. Many were emotional and crying. Some said they just didn't believe Marsha Edwards would kill her own children, and that something didn't add up.
[READ: What we know about the victims]
Carr learned that Christopher Edwards Jr. served as the digital content manager for the City of Atlanta's Executive Office of Entertainment, a job he started in 2018.
Erin Edwards also worked for the mayor as an intern for the city's Office of Communications in 2018. She worked as an intern for a local news affiliate in New York this summer. She attended Boston University.
In a statement, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said:
“Derek and I join the greater Atlanta community in mourning the loss of three members of the beloved Edwards family. Chris and Erin were beautiful, vibrant, and brilliant young adults, whom we had the pleasure of knowing their entire lives. They filled the lives of all who met them with joy, compassion, and kindness. May the peace of God, that surpasses all understanding, be with the Edwards family and all who had the honor to have known them.”
Marsha Edwards recently shared pictures on Facebook of her and her daughter enjoying a trip to Italy.
Family friend and spokesman Jeff Dickerson sent Channel 2 Action News the following statement:
"Dr. Christopher Edwards learned Wednesday of the death of his former wife, Dr. Marsha Edwards, and his two adult children, Christopher Edwards, Jr. and Erin Edwards. Dr. Edwards, his extended family and friends are in a state of grief and shock, and privacy of the family is paramount as arrangements are being made."
Investigators are trying to talk with neighbors to see if anyone heard anything.
While family and friends ask for privacy as they deal with funeral arrangements, the Vinings community is shaken.
Cartall told Regan the tragedy has touched many people.
"It's really made a huge impact on everyone in the neighborhood," Cartall said. 'We're keeping them all in our prayers."
Cantrall said it's shocking that the tragedy happened to such a well-respected family.
"They were wonderful people, which makes it a lot harder to just understand what went wrong," Cantrall said."
It's unclear who made the welfare request that led to the family's bodies. Police say the investigation is still ongoing.
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