Police in Lancaster are investigating a murder-suicide on Sunday that left five children without their mother.
The victim’s family says she was in a violent relationship and had recently broken up with her boyfriend and moved out of their home.
Relatives of Charlitha Simon, 30, can only imagine how bad things had gotten with her estranged boyfriend, Markey Miles, 32.
Police say the preliminary investigation shows Miles shot and killed Simon on Sunday afternoon at their home on Pioneer Lane and then turned the gun on himself. Their bodies were discovered by an unnamed person who showed up at the house and called 911.
“I believe she feared for her life and decide to leave, but it was too late,” said Vonda Simon, the victim’s aunt. “Loved her children. They were her world. They were always her first priority.”
Relatives say Simon's kids range in age from 6 to 10-years-old, including two sets of twins. They say the youngest child may have been home at the time of the shooting. Simon had recently moved out of the house, and relatives say she only returned to the home to retrieve belongings while Miles was gone. However, they are not sure why she was at the home Sunday afternoon.
“She was supposed to have been at work, so we don't think that she went there to get things,” explained Vonda. “We think that there's something underlining. Something that lead her back to the residence.”
Miles’ family declined to comment while at the home when they were removing belongings Monday afternoon.
Simon's family says they're just trying to make sense of this sudden and inexplicable tragedy and pray they can keep Simon's five children together as they move on without their mom.
“I think over time they are going to grieve more as they realize that mom's not here,” said Vonda. “Everyone keep her kids lifted in prayer.”
Miles had a lengthy rap sheet dating back to 2002, including charges for burglary, forgery, unlawfully carrying a weapon, public lewdness and more.
Lancaster police confirm they were called to the home for a family violence report in 2014. They say Miles was arrested, bonded out and was awaiting trial.