Police: Glynn County woman drowns daughter, tries to drown son, then kills herself

February 17th, 2010 by

BRUNSWICK (jacksonville)— Julia Murray was calm, her voice was matter of fact, almost a monotone, as she told a 911 operator, “I just killed my two kids.”

Disbelief in his voice, the operator asked Murray to repeat what she said about killing them.

“I drownded them …They are 2 and 4.,” the 21-year-old Glynn County mother said before an excruciating long pause broken only by sound of her ragged, gasping breaths.

Less than a minute later, she shot herself as the operator pleaded for her to tell him what happened.

As he repeatedly asked, “Are you there? Are you all right?” Murray responded slowly, softly, sounding confused.

“No. I just shot myself. … with a gun …please hurry,” said Murray.

It was the first time she had broken from the composed, deliberate manner in which she had meticulously given her name, address and telephone number at the beginning of the emergency call at 9:50 a.m. Tuesday.

Those were the last words Murray is heard to speak during the nearly 2-minute call that she made shortly after drowning her daughter, Ansli, 4, and nearly drowning her son, Creighton, 2, at the family’s Baumgardner Road home.

Glynn County police officers found Murray lying mortally wounded near a .357-Magnum revolver in one room, and the still-wet bodies of her son and daughter in their bedroom, said county Police Chief Matt Doering.

Ansli and Creighton were lying next to each other in one bed as if they had been tucked in for the night. There were no visible signs of injuries other than those indicating drowning, police Capt. Marissa Tindale told the Times-Union.

Creighton was still breathing, but his sister was not. Mother and children were taken to Southeast Georgia Health System’s Brunswick hospital, Doering said.

Ansli died at 10:44 a.m. and her mother died at 11:57 a.m., county Coroner Jimmy Durden said.

Creighton was in stable condition, and is expected to recover, Tindale said. He might be well enough to be released Wednesday, authorities said.

Murray had a close-range gunshot wound to the upper left side of her chest, authorities said. Autopsies will be performed today.

The evidence, Doering said, is consistent with Murray’s 911 call.

“It appears to be a homicide, attempted homicide and a suicide,” Doering said.

No gunshot can be heard on the 911 recording. The sound, however, would be muffled if the gun was pressed against her chest when fired, Doering said.

He said the revolver recovered by Murray’s body belonged to the family and appears to be the one used in the shooting, Doering said.

Murray offered no explanation for what she did in the 911 call, and no note or other message had been found Tuesday, Tindale said.

As the 911 call ends, Murray’s moans trail off into silence, then a police officer can be heard in the background rushing into the room where she is unconscious and unresponsive.

“At this point, we don’t know why she did it,” said Tindale, noting the investigation continues.

Investigators believe the children were submerged in a bathtub. There is no indication of any drugs being used to subdue or quiet them, she said.

“We don’t believe that a lot of time elapsed between the time the children were drowned, and she called 911,” Tindale said. “She didn’t call anyone before calling 911.”

Murray and her children lived at the home with her sister and their mother, Alia Murray, who Doering said had legal custody of the children.

The children’s father was released on parole Jan. 8 and was listed as living in Camden County. He has a history of convictions for possession and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, cocaine and other drugs, state prison and parole records showed.

Murray, who babysat for people, had never been in trouble with the law, police said.

Evidence indicates Murray and her children were the only ones home when it happened, Tindale said.

Doering said there is no history of police previously being called to the residence.

The family began gathering at the home Tuesday night, and a man came from the house and politely asked reporters to not come onto the property and to respect the family’s privacy.

Neighbors and others who know the family were horrified at the deaths.

Jimmy Poston, who lives across Baumgardner Road from the family, said Alia Murray is the widow of a police officer and that she and her daughters didn’t seem to have a surplus of money.

“They moved out of a double wide [mobile home] and into the house just before Christmas,’’ Poston said.

Poston said he and his brother dug up stumps and smoothed out the ground so they could build a house there. Once they moved, he helped clean up where the mobile home had been, Poston said.

A tiny tricycle sat on the porch and a bigger pink Big Wheel sat near a corner of the house. A pond with bare swamp willows sits between the road and house.

A few Glynn County police vehicles sat in the driveway. A yellow piece of police tape fluttered gently, anchored on one end by the mirror of a police car.

Times-Union Georgia Editor Terry Dickson contributed to this report.


One Response

  1. Stefan Stoyanoff

    Julia was my wife’s very best friend… You have no idea how much grief and sadness this has brought to us. We’ll never know the truth. We have our suspicions, but that can never be proven. I chose to remember the good things about Julia. She was a good natured person at heart and a really good friend to my wife.

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