CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — A Chesterfield family is still trying to process the deaths of four of their loved ones, days after they were murdered in their home.
Early Friday morning, police received a frantic 911 call from 39-year-old JoAnna Cottle for an intruder. Moments later, police heard gunshots erupt from inside the home on Laurel Oak Road. Once inside, police found Cottle, and her three children, 13-year-old Kaelyn and 4-year-old twins Jayson and Kinsey, all shot to death.
Hours after the murders, police arrested Jonah Adams near his home in Waldorf, Maryland. He’s the ex-boyfriend of Cottle and the father of the twins.
“They were special people… even the little ones at 4 years old,” said Bobbie Ivey, Cottle’s sister. “They had just the brightest spirits, they were always happy. Those kids…you couldn’t meet them and not love them.”
Ivey shared memories during an interview with 8news on Monday, saying her sister, JoAnna, was her best friend and her kids were her world.
Kaelyn was a student at Salem Church Middle School.
“Kaelyn was just a huge part of her school, and I know the school and staff are hurting really bad because this is hard for anyone, but for a teenage kid to understand,” she said. “There’s no understanding, because this is not something that should ever happen and no answer on why it happened that will ever satisfy anything.”
As of Monday evening, police had not released a motive for the deadly shootings. However, it was revealed that Cottle had filed for a protective order against Adams, but it was denied by a judge.
No further information was given, with police citing the ongoing investigation.
Adams, a navy veteran, is now being held in Maryland and faces four counts of first-degree murder.
Ivey said her family will work toward forgiveness; however, the focus now is on remembering the four lives tragically cut short.
“I know my family and I know we will get there, but there’s no justice. This should have never happened,” she said. “For who they were, for what they brought to this world, everyone one that they touched.”
A vigil was held at 6 p.m. at Salem Church Middle School.