Illinois mom fatally shoots 5-year-old twin girls, turns gun on herself, police say

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A mother and her 5-year-old twin daughters found dead Monday inside a home in Joliet all died of gunshot wounds, police said Tuesday. (WLS)

A mother and her 5-year-old twin daughters found dead Monday at an Illinois home all died of gunshot wounds, and police said they are investigating the deaths as a murder-suicide.

Authorities said they believe 41-year-old Celisa Henning shot her daughters, 5-year-old Addison Henning and 5-year-old Makayla Henning, before turning the gun on herself.

Autopsies were performed Tuesday. The Will County Coroner's Office said both children died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head, and Celisa Henning died from a single gunshot wound to the head.

Henning's husband, the twins' father, discovered their bodies Monday afternoon in the family's home in the 400 block of North Reed Street. Crime tape surrounded the home and investigators were in and out of the house for several hours afterward.

Adele Bryant, a neighbor, said since Addison and Makayla loved dogs, she would bring her puppy, Dolly, over to their yard to play.

"They were very excited about school. Always helping mom. Very close to her mom," Bryant said.

Bryant said she never saw any signs displayed by their mother that would have foreshadowed the tragic murder-suicide.

"It's just very sad. I just - having been a former teacher and counselor, I'm feeling very sad that whatever was going on, was not noticed. A missed opportunity," Bryant said.

"There were no previous indicators that there was cause for concern from our end. I'm not sure what prompted this, but again, it's a terrible tragedy and we are very sensitive to the concerns of the family," Joliet Police Chief Brian Benton said.

On Tuesday, neighbors left flowers, a candle and twin dog toys by a tree in the front yard. Joliet Mayor Bob O'Dekirk extended his condolences to the Henning family and their friends.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.
Related Topics:
murder suicidewoman killedchild killedu.s. & worldIllinois
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