Mom Allegedly Shot Her 4 Adopted Children 34 Times in Tragic Murder-Suicide

cynthia collier home
NewsChannel5

Autopsy reports in the deaths of a Tennessee mother and her four adopted children have revealed tragic details about their final moments. Cynthia Collier and her four teenagers were found dead in their home on October 15. The newly released autopsy reports show that Collier fired 34 bullets at her children before turning the gun on herself in a heartbreaking murder-suicide.

  • Collier reportedly used a shotgun and another firearm to shoot her children in a violent rampage.

    The autopsy reports show that Collier's 17-year-old, Kaileigh Lin, was shot 13 times in a bathroom in their home, according to People. Her 15-year-old, Lia Lin, was shot nine times in her bed. And two 14-year-olds, Bo Li and Meigan Lin, were shot four and eight times, respectively. Collier herself died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

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  • The bodies of Cynthia and her children were reportedly discovered by her adult son when he came home from work around 6 p.m. October 15.

    People also revealed that a suicide note was found, but police have not revealed what the note said. Collier had adopted the four children from China in 2000 with her husband, from whom she was estranged at the time of her death. 

  • Collier and her husband, Randall, filed for divorce in March 2018, according to People.

    The couple, who also have three older children together, had reportedly been living separately and barely speaking since 2007. Randall filed a motion in early May seeking more parenting time with the adopted children. At the time, Collier reportedly asked the judge to deny the request, claiming that her husband was not a part of their children's lives and had “missed every major milestone in their lives for the past nine years.”

    The Daily Mail reports that Collier and her husband later filed paperwork asking the court to dismiss their case so they could attempt to reconcile. Randall was not at the Collier home at the time of the shootings.

  • In a press conference shortly after the bodies were found, police said Collier was a stay-at-home mother who homeschooled all of her children.

    Sheriff Bucky Rowland said Collier "appeared to be a very loving mother, with the exception of this one incident" and that investigators had not determined a motive, as her suicide note was apparently brief and did not mention a reason. 

    “This appears to be a loving home. It’s an immaculate home and a very loving family. So a motive would be very important to know what would lead someone to do this to her loved ones," he said.

  • Obituaries describe the four children as bright, loving, and talented.

    Kaileigh is described as academically brilliant and a great lover of classic country music; Lia "was unrelenting joy and exuberance"; Bo had a "brilliant mind"; Meigan was "happy, contented, and dynamic." In Cynthia Collier's obituary, the mom is described as a "sweet soul who always put others first. She embodied selflessness, pure love, and a childlike joyful spirit."

    Toxicology reports showed there was no alcohol or drugs in Collier's system at the time of her death, according to thTennessean. Sheriff Rowland confirmed during his initial press conference that there is reason to believe Collier was struggling with mental health issues.