A coroner found this week that a trio of sisters who went briefly missing before their bodies surfaced in a Texas pond last summer were strangled to death before being left in the water, sparking a murder investigation.
The bodies of Zi’Ariel Oliver, 9, Amiyah Hughes, 8, and Temari Oliver, 5, were found in the pond on July 30 in rural Cass County near the Arkansas border. Her death was initially reported as a tragic drowning that caused grief for her family and the small community of Atlanta, Texas.
However, new details that emerged this week paint a different picture of what happened. A coroner determined that the sisters had “cuts” to their faces and that they had all died from strangulation, Cass County District Attorney Courtney Shelton said in a news release Texarkana Gazette.
The children were reported missing around 9pm on July 29 by their cousin Paris Propps, who was looking after them and their other three siblings – who were unharmed – while their mother worked gazette previously reported.
Dive teams from a neighboring county rushed to a pond on their neighbor’s property about 200 feet from their home after an abandoned shoe and purple bike were spotted nearby. The gazette reported that the bodies of the siblings were found around 3 a.m. the next morning.
Shommaonique Oliver, the girls’ mother, posted on Facebook that the loss of her “cute babies” was “so unreal”. She later wrote in a GoFundMe fundraiser that raised $17,000 that the tragedy came as a “huge shock.”
Several calls and messages to the sisters’ family members went unanswered Friday afternoon.
Cass County Sheriff Larry Rowe said last summer gazette that he had “no idea” what the girls were doing near the pond, with other officials confirming the children were not wearing life jackets or swimwear.
Shelton said authorities had “taken multiple testimonies” and that DNA testing was ongoing. He did not mention any potential suspects or a possible motive for the alleged triple homicide.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/three-young-sisters-in-tragic-drowning-were-actually-murdered-cops-reveal Three young sisters were actually murdered in a tragic “drowning,” police reveal