LEWISBURG, W.V. (LOOTPRESS) – A press briefing with the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that a woman killed five children (three biological children and two stepchildren) in a murder-suicide.
Shortly before 4:00 p.m. on Dec. 8, 2020, officers with the West Virginia State Police and Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Office arrived at a residential house fire at 611 Flynn’s Creek Road near Williamsburg, W.V. The Williamsburg Fire Department has been the first to arrive at the scene and saw that the house had completely burned to the ground.
Upon investigating the premises, authorities discovered the body of Oreanna Antionette Myers, 25, at a picnic table. She had a gunshot wound to the head. Police noted that she was wearing a coat with a hood and had a red line drawn across her nose from ear to ear.
As they were continuing to search the perimeter, officers located a zip lock bag that had been duct-taped to the passenger side mirror of the family’s inoperable vehicle. Inside the plastic bag were three separate letters.
The first letter- titled “To whomever finds this”- stated that the reader of the letter needed to call Myers’ husband and the father of the children, Brian Bumgarner, 30, the mother of the two children from Bumgarner’s first marriage, Raven Bumgarner, and Myers’ mother.
“Tell her I’m sorry. This is no one’s fault but my own. My demons won over me, and there’s no going back. Sorry I wasn’t strong enough,” the letter read.
The second letter- titled “My Confession- proceeded to explain that Myers had shot all of the children in the head and set the house on fire before shooting herself. The letter concluded with Myers warning of the seriousness and danger of mental health.
“I hope one day someone helps others like me. It’s no joke when someone begs and pleads and cries for help. Please give them help; it might save a life or more lives,” Myers wrote.
The contents of the last letter were not disclosed during the briefing by Sheriff Bruce Sloan as it was Myers’ Will.
The letters were all signed “XOXO” followed by the initials O.A.M. Two of the letters were stamped with what appeared to be a bloody fingerprint.
Sloan explained that Myers and her husband had been having issues regarding his absence from the home. The family’s car had been damaged in an accident no more than two weeks prior, leaving Bumgarner with no choice but to stay with his parents during the week so that he could get a ride to work.
Sloan read text messages between the couple in the days leading up to Dec. 8. While some of the messages were filled with “I love you’s” and happy words, several of the messages show Myers’ hatred for Bumgarner’s absence.
“You won’t have nothing to come back to but corpses,” Myers warned in one message. “No one cares, why should I?”
“Money comes and goes, new cares come and go, but me? Once I go, there is no replacing me.”
“No, you’re too busy worrying about money; exactly why I keep telling myself, ‘Why bother?’”
“Can’t have kids if they ain’t around. Like I said, it doesn’t matter anymore…foolish man. Doesn’t matter if they’re in school or not…I hope all the money is worth it.”
Sloan did mention that Bumgarner had replied to his his wife’s messages explaining that he had to work to pay the bills and support the family.
The remains of four of the five children were found during the initial search of rubble; however, despite the efforts of first responders, the body of the fifth child could not be located.
On Dec. 9, officers found another letter that had been placed on the driver’s side floor of the same vehicle where the first letters had been found the day before.
“XOXO” was written at the top of the letter.
“I am so sorry, Brian. I was not strong enough for you or this family…Sorry for my evil crime. I was not strong enough to fight these demons. Snap. Crunch. Boom. Shhh… I failed you. I’m sorry. I failed our handsome boys. I am not strong enough.”
This letter had also been stamped with a bloody fingerprint next to the initials O.A.M. Sloan revealed that the medical laboratory in Charleston identified that the fingerprints on the letters belonged to Myers.
Inside the vehicle, police also found Myers’ diary, her cellphone, and a glass jar with a crystal and piece of cloth stuffed inside. A spiral symbol had been drawn on the top of the jar.
That afternoon, the remains of the fifth child were found. All of the children were under the age of seven, with the youngest being one year old.
Law enforcement concluded that Myers had shot the children and herself with a 410 single-shot folding shotgun, which had been in the family for years.
Firefighters were not able to determine how Myers had started the fire due to the extent of the damage.
According to Sloan, Myers had no history of any kind of mental health counseling or treatment. Additionally, there was no history of referrals to Child Protective Services or law enforcement.
“Our moral fabric finds it unconscionable that a mother could harm her own children or take their life…We can’t determine why Oreanna Myers chose to end the lives of five children then take her own life; however, through all the facts and evidence that obtained during this investigation and all the information that has been acquired, that is what we have concluded did occur on Dec. 8, 2020, at 611 Flynn’s Creek Road,” Sloan said.
“The message to people watching who are on the edge of something you can’t take back, you have to get help if there are issues. You have to seek help if you know someone expressing these emotions, get them help.”
According to the Greenbrier Sheriff’s Office, the investigation is now closed, and the manner of death was ruled a homicide.