Authorities say Joanna Cottle had called the police at around 4 a.m. after seeing Adams outside of her house wearing a camouflage mask.
Trigger warning: This article contains themes of gun violence that may be distressing to some readers
In a tragic killing, a mother and her 3 children were discovered at their home in the 4200 block of Laurel Oak Road after a 911 call reporting a disturbance at the home shortly before 5 a.m. on Friday. JoAnna Cottle, 39, and her three kids, Kaelyn Parson, 13, and 4-year-old twins Kinsey and Jayson Cottle, all died of horrendous gunshot wounds.
Jonah Adams, 35, the mother's former boyfriend and father to the 2 younger children, has now been arrested in connection with the deaths of the family. Adams was detained by the police near his home in Waldorf, Maryland. Kinsey and Jayson Cottle are said to be his children. Authorities say Joanna Cottle called police around 4 a.m. after seeing Adams outside of her house wearing a camouflage mask.
"Ms Cottle, the mother of the three children, inquired about a possible intruder. We could hear gunshots while our officers were responding," Chesterfield Police Lt. Col. Chris Hensley stated, per Richmond Times-Dispatch. "When the officers arrived on the scene, they discovered that the suspect had fled. Then they discovered the four dead victims all from gunshot wounds."
Hensley said Adams became the prime suspect after they learned that Cottle, 39, had filed for a protective order against him, but it had been denied by a judge. Furthermore, Hensley explained that while a direct motive was not immediately clear, "hints of a turbulent relationship" between the co-parents were noted, citing interviews with family and friends.
"We identified a previous protective order [involving the former couple] that was not in effect now," Hensley said, adding that there was conflict over their two children, but he wasn't sure if it was "a custody dispute or a disagreement."
Cottle had previously filed for an order of protection, which was rejected by a judge, according to police. Hensley stated that police collaborated with AFT agents and other officers in Richmond, Virginia and Maryland to "establish surveillance upon his residence in Maryland, where he was seen and taken into custody." Adams is wanted for four counts of first-degree murder, according to police.
Cottle's sister told WTVR that the 39-year-old JoAnna had a "huge heart and loved her children and our family. She said, speaking anonymously, that her sister and Adams split up before the babies were born. "There was a period after their birth when they were trying to work things out, but settlement never happened," Cottle's sister explained. "The only link they had left was a small amount of child support that would be deducted from Adams' check."
In the meantime, their aunt remembered the three children as "amazing" and "smart." "They were wonderful children. Smart I mean, Kaelyn, anyone at her school would tell you she was. They were all crazy about her," she concluded.
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Jo Marie