Minnesota police are searching for motive in an alleged murder-suicide involving a mother and her 5-year-old son, as reported by StarTribune.
Police found the bodies of the 47-year-old woman and her 5-year-old son in an Orono home on Tuesday, during a welfare check. Both bodies had been hanged to death, authorities indicate, calling the incident an apparent murder-suicide. The mother’s identity has been revealed to be Gina Summers, though the child’s identity is being withheld for now, with the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office stating they will release that information after an autopsy, according to KARE11.
Authorities conducted the welfare check because the child “had not been returned to his father for parenting,” Police Chief Correy Farniok said.
According to court documents, the unidentified mother was involved in a lengthy custody battle with the father of her 5-year-old son, with each accusing the other of harming the boy. This could have provided motive for the cruel act, investigators note.
Court records indicate that by July 2015, the couple’s relationship had become strained. Summers received an order for protection against the father, saying he had been physically abusing her since 2009. That petition was eventually settled and dismissed, records note.
They continued to fight over how to care for their child, passing lawsuits back and forth. On Friday, Hennepin County District Judge Edward Wahl ruled in the father’s favor as to what district their son should attend school in.
This is an ongoing investigation. The father of the boy has yet to comment though he has been brought in for questioning.
[Featured Image: KARE11]