"It's really beyond words, quite frankly," says a commissioner in Tennessee's Shelby County. He was referring to the stabbing deaths of four siblings, all under the age of 6, in suburban Memphis on Friday, reports NBC News. Their mother, 29-year-old Shanynthia Gardner, is in custody facing first-degree murder charges, reports the Commercial Appeal. Police were called to the family's apartment in a gated community Friday afternoon and discovered the bodies, but they haven't speculated about a motive. The Memphis newspaper quotes an anonymous source as saying that a 7-year-old boy escaped the attack.
"I've seen a lot of bad stuff in 33 years, but this is the worst," says Shelby County assistant chief deputy Mark Dunbar. State children's services officials say they have no record of trouble with the family. The father reportedly was not home at the time of the killings, which occurred in a golf course community known as The Greens at Irene. "I can't fathom that," one neighbor tells the AP. "What would babies do to make you do that?" (Read more Memphis stories.)