An Oregon mother and two of her four children were stabbed in the neck before firefighters found them in their burning house, autopsy reports show.
The woman, Tabasha Paige-Criado, died from stab wounds to her neck and abdomen, Medford police Lt. Bob Hansen announced Thursday.
Autopsies list the probable cause of death for all four of the young children _ Elijah, 7; Isaac, 6; Andrew, 5; and Aurora, 2 _ as smoke inhalation, he said. Stab wounds to the neck are listed as an additional cause of death for two of the boys, Isaac and Andrew.
A final determination on the autopsies depends on toxicology tests, which may take several weeks.
Police said they believe Paige-Criado's husband and the children's father, Jordan Adam Criado, killed his family and went around the house setting fires in several locations.
Criado has not regained consciousness since firefighters carried all six family members out of the small single-story house in this southern Oregon city of about 75,000 and rescuers tried to revive them on the front lawn. He remained in guarded condition in a Medford hospital.
Police said they are waiting for Criado to recover before they arrest him.
Family members said Paige-Criado knew going into the marriage that Criado was a convicted child molester, but resisted their urgings to leave him.
"It didn't faze her," Jesse Adams, of Phoenix, told reporters at a news conference. "As far as I'm concerned, he served his debt to society for that. It has no bearing on what happened now."
Bernetta Herron, an aunt, said the couple met at a college in Bakersfield, Calif., where Paige-Criado had reunited with her mother, Gwen Crowley, after serving in the U.S. Navy.
"When we found out about Jordan's past ways we did try to talk to her, but the heart hears what the heart wants," she said.
In 1990, Criado pleaded guilty in Sacramento County, Calif., to lewd and lascivious acts with three girls under 14 years old. He served about 11 years of a 20-year sentence.
Herron said Criado moved his family to Oregon to keep them away from her family, so he could control her.
Adams said his family was "in chaos" trying to make sense of the slayings but were working on forgiving Criado and took comfort in the idea that God had taken Paige-Criado and her children to a better place.
"We knew she wanted a divorce," he added. "She obviously didn't see anything coming or felt threatened. At the end of the day, we have to trust in her decisions, the way she decided to handle things."
Active in social networking, Paige-Criado made it clear on Facebook that she loved her children and no longer wanted to be with her husband.
On May 20 she posted: "Lookin out, it looks charged! I keep tellin my roomie man thingy that if THIS IS the storm that wipes the world away, just remember when we're in heaven that our contract says, UNTIL DEATH DO US PART, and then get my freedom papers! :)"
On May 29 she posted: "He said: he wants to put the kids to bed early. Put candles and rose petals on the dining table. Wine and dine me then ravish me. I said: I want to take a piece of bread with nutella, peanut butter, raw eggs ,chilli, syrup, mustard and sriracha sauce and smear it on his face. :-))"
Estella Evans, a Medford hairdresser who has known Paige-Criado for three years, said she told her Criado had "trapped her with those kids. She was the kind of girl who was really happy and saved face. I knew she was hurting."
Herron said time may have helped Paige-Criado finally "open her eyes" to the fact "this was not going to work and she was tired of what she had been going through."
Cherilyn Potts, of Louisville, Ky., said she knew Paige-Criado had problems and had a plan to leave her husband. They met on Facebook through Paige-Criado's.
"When there is domestic violence, it is very easy for people to say you should have left," she said. "It's much more involved than that. It's not always that easy or simple as things seem."
The family said a candlelight vigil will be held Friday at 9 p.m. in Medford's Hawthorne Park.