The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has completed the investigation into the deaths of two small children and their mother following the discovery of their bodies in a black colored Jeep Patriot that had been parked on the property of the Greenville- Pickens Speedway.
The incident which occurred on Thursday, July 13, 2017, was the tragic conclusion in the events that started a couple of hours earlier with the investigation of a woman later identified as Meredith Rahme (28yoa) that was shot and killed in a parking garage located in downtown Greenville.
Detectives from the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office have determined that Jessica Edens (36yoa), the mother of the two children, ages 5 and 9, went into her parent’s home the day before the shootings and stole a .40 caliber handgun while the parents were out of town.
That weapon which was legally owned by the parents is believed to be the same weapon used in the Greenville murder and the murder/suicide that subsequently occurred inside the shooter’s vehicle while parked in Pickens County.
The Sheriff’s Office has reviewed telephone records obtained via Search Warrants that have confirmed that Mrs. Edens became distraught following a Family Court preceding that was held earlier the same week prior to the Thursday shootings.
Texts messages and other written content clearly indicate that Mrs. Edens developed a plan in the next couple of days that she felt would cause everlasting consequences for her husband-Benjamin Edens.
The investigation has confirmed that Mrs. Edens drove her vehicle directly from the parking garage in Greenville just moments after Ms. Rahme was murdered to the site where it was later discovered by a passing motorist at the speedway.
Based on a phone call made by Mrs. Edens to her husband while he was in the presence of Greenville authorities, along with other evidence and observations at the scene, it is believed that the children were shot while seated in the rear cargo area of the SUV. There were no signs of a struggle.
Detectives feel that the children were shot before Mrs. Edens placed what would be her final phone call to her husband and then she took her own life as she sat in the back seat of the Jeep.
As previously reported, first responding deputies found the vehicle in a locked condition with the engine running. Deputies used a baton to break the driver’s side window in order to gain access to the interior.
Both children and their mother were all deceased at the scene when deputies arrived and gained entry into the vehicle.
The Sheriff’s Office attended the autopsies conducted by the Pickens County Coroner the following day at which time it was confirmed that each victim had a single gunshot wound to the head.
Sheriff Rick Clark stated…
“As we struggle to understand how a parent could possibly come to a decision such as this, we have to focus on tomorrow and the opportunity to provide services and solutions to those that feel that their life and the lives of their loved ones must end in order to find peace.
We live in a stressful world during difficult times but there are resources that stand ready to offer help and assist you if you feel that you have no other options left in life.
Please reach out to law enforcement so that we can be the bridge to lead you to a road of recovery. In time, you will see that all things come to pass and you too can become a stronger person with hope and faith in a brighter future.
All of us need a helping hand from time to time as we walk through life and asking for help is not a sign of weakness that any of us should be ashamed of”.
The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office would like to publicly thank our colleagues at the Greenville Police Department for their cooperation and support throughout this heartbreaking investigation.