FAIRLEA, W.Va. — Investigators have concluded a Greenbrier County woman murdered five young boys, set the family’s house on fire and then took her own life.
Greenbrier County Sheriff Bruce Sloan detailed the results of the investigation in a Thursday news conference in Fairlea.
Authorities began their investigation into the deaths following a house fire near the community of Williamsburg on Dec. 8.
According to Sloan, Oreanna Myers, 25, shot all five children, including three of her own, with a 4/10 single shot shotgun. She then set the two-story house on fire, went outside and shot herself. Her body was found near a picnic table. The shotgun was beside her body.
In several notes left behind, Myers said she was suffering from mental illness.
“This is no one’s fault but my own. My demons won over me. Sorry, I wasn’t strong enough,” she wrote.
Myers was married to Brian Bumgarner. They had three boys together. The other two children at the home were from Bumgarner’s first marriage.
Sheriff Sloan said Bumgarner had been away from the home for various periods of time over a 10-day period because the family’s only vehicle had been involved in a crash. Bumgarner had decided to stay with other family members in order to get a ride to work.
Sloan said there were several text messages between Myers and Bumgarner during that time but they seemed to pick up in intensity after he left the residence on Sunday, Dec. 6, after leaving some groceries for the family.
Sloan read from some of the text messages between the two.
“You’ll have nothing to come back to but to corpse. No one cares why should I?” Myers texted her husband. “Money will come and go, once I go there’s no replacing me. I beg and cry for help but never get it. It’s my mental health that needs tending to–help me– I do not care anymore.”
Sloan said there had been no prior treatment for mental illness. He also said there was no history of mistreatment of the children. There were no referrals in connection with Child Protective Services.
Investigators with the state Fire Marshal’s Office said there were too much damage to the old house to tell how the fire began. Shotgun pellets from the 4/10 were found in all five children.
The names of the children murdered include Shaun Dawson Bumgarner, 7, Riley James Bumgarner, 6, Kian Myers, 4, Arikyle Nova Myers, 3 and Haiken Jirachi Myers, age 1.
Myers left behind three hand-written notes and a letter to her husband. Sloan said the three notes were found in a ziplock bag that was duct-taped to the passenger side mirror of the Bumgarner family vehicle that had been disabled in a previous accident. Each note had a title.
To Whomever Finds This First
“To whomever finds this first. You’ll need to call Brian Brian Bumgarner. He is husband and father. You’ll need to call Raven, for she is mother of Shaun and Riley. if someone would please call my 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. So sorry I wasn’t strong enough. Thank you. XOXO, OAM.”
“I had shot all of the boys in the head. I had set house on fire. I had shot myself in the head. I’m sorry. Mental health is serious. I hope one day someone will help others like me. Mental health is not to joke about or taken lightly. When someone begs, pleads, cries out for help, please help them. You just might save a life or more lives. Thank you, OAM.”
Sheriff Sloan chose not to read the will outloud Thursday. He said it was personal for the family but did include what appeared to be a bloody fingerprint next to the initials of OAM.
The letter to Brian Bumgarner was found on the floorboard of the family vehicle
“XOXO. I’m so sorry Brian. I was not strong enough for you or this family. My head is so (expletive). I’m sorry for my evil crime. I was not strong enough to fight these demons, Snap. Crunch, Boom. So depressed. Heart numb. Soul completely shattered. I am sorry I failed you. I am sorry I failed our handsome boys. I am so sorry I was not strong enough. OAM.”
Sloan said there was also a bloody fingerprint next to Myers’ initials.
The Red Line
Myers was wearing a coat with a hood with a red line drawn across the front of her face, Sloan said.
“Across the bridge of her nose underneath her eyes,” Sloan said.
That line was there when she greeted two of the boys at the bus stop the afternoon of Dec. 8 not long before she set the fire. Sloan said Myers usually brought the younger children to the bus stop with her but did not that day. One of the boys noticed the red line when he stepped off the bus. On the bus video camera you can hear the boy ask if that’s blood on her face. Myers told him she had just drawn on her face and they turned and headed toward the house. The fire would occur a short time later.
Sloan said the investigation has concluded.
“Obviously we can’t determine why Oreanna Myers chose to end the lives of five children and then take her own life. However, through all the facts and evidence obtained during this investigation and all the information that’s been acquired that’s we concluded did occur on Dec. 8, 2020 at 611 Flynns Creek Road,” he said.