Skip to main content

Search warrant details scene where bodies of Florida teens found

By the CNN Wire Staff
Julie K. Schenecker, 50, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
Julie K. Schenecker, 50, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Classmates and others in Tampa mourn the two slain teens
  • Police probed alleged abuse involving Julie Schenecker in fall, records show
  • A police spokeswoman says Schenecker detailed a plan to kill her kids in writing
  • Police say Schenecker admitted killing her children because they were "mouthy"

Read more about this story from affiliates WTSP and WFTS and see the latest on HLN's "Nancy Grace" tonight 8pm ET

(CNN) -- A search warrant filed in Tampa, Florida, Tuesday says a mother was unconscious and wearing a bloody robe and her two deceased children were covered in blankets when police arrived.

Julie K. Schenecker was awakened and taken from a screened-in pool area to inside the home, where evidence was recovered, according to the warrant filed in Circuit Court in Hillsborough County.

The search warrant was posted on the website of CNN affiliate WTSP.

Schenecker, 50, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the January 28 deaths of her 13-year-old son, Beau Powers Schenecker, and her 16-year-old daughter, Calyx Powers Schenecker.

She was denied bond at a court appearance Monday, a court spokesman said.

The warrant provides new details in the case: Five bullets and a Smith & Wesson box and instruction manual were found in the master bedroom; 15 live rounds and five spent shell casings were in the master bath. Also indicated in the search warrant -- both inside and outside the house -- were cigarette butts, note pads, undisclosed medication and paperwork.

Police found Calyx's body in an upstairs bedroom. She had been shot twice in the head, police said. Beau's body was later found in the front seat of an SUV inside the home's garage, police said. They said he was shot while he was being driven to soccer practice.

Cops: Mom shot kids for being 'mouthy'
RELATED TOPICS

A preliminary investigation indicates the teens were killed Thursday night, the police statement said, but the county medical examiner will determine their time of death.

Schenecker confessed to killing the children, according to a police statement, eventually recounting her rationale and thought process "in detail," according to a press release.

"She did tell us that they talked back, that they were mouthy," Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy told CNN affiliate WTSP late last week. "But I don't think that will ever serve as an explanation to the rest of us of how you could take a child's life."

Officers arrived at 7:45 a.m. to find Julie Schenecker on her home's back porch, "a little combative" and her clothing soaked in blood, McElroy said.

Schenecker had initially planned what she called the "massacre" -- killing the children and then herself, McElroy said on Monday -- for January 22, but she put it off after learning there would be a three-day check before she could buy a gun.

Police later found writings in the house, thought to be from Schenecker, in which she spelled out her intentions in detail.

"There are definitely indications that she planned this," McElroy said. "(The writing) was devoid of emotion."

Police opened, and then dropped, an investigation of physical abuse involving Schenecker against her teen daughter, closing the case weeks before the killings.

"Our belief was that she didn't snap -- she planned this," McElroy told HLN's Vinnie Politan on Monday.

In November, police opened a child abuse investigation into allegations Schenecker had abused Calyx, according to a report from the Tampa Police.

A responding officer, Julie Becker, wrote that she didn't see any "visible injuries" on Calyx, nor did the girl complain of any. "She seemed cautious of what was saying, and at times began to cry," Becker said in her report.

Calyx told police that days earlier her mother repeatedly hit her while they were driving home, before she was able to run to a safe spot in her room. The girl said that a month and a half earlier, her mother had hit her so hard in the face it caused her lip to bleed.

Julie Schenecker told police she had hit the girl three times in the first incident after the girl told her, "You're disgusting," and "You're not my parent," according to the police report. She said Calyx was not bruised or bleeding afterward.

The mother also admitted hitting the girl once more than a month earlier, according to her police statement, but she again denied that Calyx had bled.

Becker noted, "There is no prior history (related to) this location and the family."

On December 21, having found "no evidence of a criminal offense," authorities ended their investigation of the case.

McElroy, the Tampa police spokeswoman, said Monday that the daughter's seeming "regret" over her comments and the fact no wounds could be seen prompted the investigators' decision.

"Parents can discipline their children using physical force, as long as there's no injury," said McElroy. "That's why there was no criminal offense at that time."

But McElroy said police determined on January 28 after they arrived at the family home that Schenecker had plotted to kill the teens. Authorities went to the house after getting a call from the suspect's mother who, after email communications the previous night, was worried her daughter was depressed.

Schenecker's husband, Parker, is a colonel in the U.S. Army. He is a member of U.S. Central Command. Police told CNN affiliate WFTS that he was in Qatar when his children were killed.

Schenecker appeared in court Monday via video link from jail, WFTS reported. She held a tissue and wept softly during the two-minute appearance.

Judge Walter Heinrich said at the hearing that Schenecker likely will undergo a psychiatric evaluation, according to CNN affiliates WTSP and WFTS.

She did not enter a plea because of that likelihood, according to Hillsborough County Court spokesman Calvin Green.

No new court dates are set in the case, Green said. Prosecutors have 21 days to present the case to a grand jury.

The mourning for the young victims continues in west Florida, where a vigil was held Friday night.

On Monday -- their first day back since the shootings became public -- students at Liberty Middle School in Tampa wore blue and black in memory of Beau, an eighth-grader at the school.

Watch Nancy Grace Monday through Sunday starting at 8 p.m. ET on HLN. For the latest from Nancy Grace click here.

Lawyers.com Lexis Nexis Logo

Law firm search