Unicoi County

Memorial built, names released in murder-suicide case

Erwin murder-suicide

ERWIN, Tenn. - A community continues to mourn after a weekend shooting left a family of four dead. The Erwin Police Department said it appears to a triple-murder suicide.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has identified the victims as Bridget N. Hughes, 39, Whitney Hughes, 12, Austin Hughes, 11, and Clyde Hughes Jr., 47.

A memorial was flowers and toys were set up on Monday in the front yard of the home on Carolina Avenue. "I really can't believe it. It feels like a bad dream, but it's true. It's really sad for me to see them gone," said Jessica Dlouhy, a cousin of the victims.

Friends and cousins of the children said they all used to play together in the snow, so they decided to use it to start their healing process.  "We build the snowmen to represent that we miss them," said Faye Dlouhy, a cousin.

"I feel great doing it, but it's not really them, so it's sad," added Bailey Gamble, a school friend.

"It's sad. Every time I drive past there it breaks my heart a little bit more," said neighbor, Jennifer Laughren.

Whitney was a sixth grader at Unicoi County Middle School and her younger brother, Austin, was a fourth grader at Unicoi County Intermediate School.

The schools had a snow day Monday, so Tuesday will be the first time students have been back without their fellow classmates.

Denise Brown, the director of schools, said they are bringing in addition crisis counselors to help the students cope. "This tragedy is devastating to our whole community because we are a small town, very, very close knit community," she said. "This affects the whole community."

A candle light vigil was scheduled to be held at the home at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

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