Relatives identified the victims of a triple slaying at a Minnesota home day care as the day care operator and her parents, as police continued seeking a single suspect.
James Bolden said Tuesday that police told him his 59-year-old sister, DeLois Brown, and his parents James and Clover Bolden were killed in the attack Monday morning in Brooklyn Park, a suburb northwest of Minneapolis.
Police said the bodies were discovered by a mother who had just dropped off her toddler and then returned to the day care after seeing a suspicious person hanging around. Her child was OK and no one else was hurt in the attack.
Police were looking for a suspect in his mid-20s, believed to have fled the scene on a BMX bicycle.
"I was leaving out of the door for work and I got a call from my son, and he said that one of my nieces and my other son had called him and were all hysterical and telling him that something is going on over at the house," said James Bolden, of Minneapolis. "My niece said, `They're all gone.'"
The elder James Bolden was 83, and Clover Bolden was 81.
DeLois Brown's husband, Joseph, died in February, according to her brother-in-law. DeLois had just moved her parents to Minnesota from Centreville, Ill., near St. Louis, so she could take care of them, Ron Brown said.
"She called us a week ago today, to say they made it back safe and sound with a truckload of furniture," he said.
Sallie Chandler, a friend and neighbor of the Boldens in Centreville, told KSDK-TV of St. Louis that "nobody was as loving and kind as the Boldens." She said she had known them since moving into her house in 1967.
"And we was just a family, a family really. When they left, we just cried, one another. Hate to see them go. But then to find out ... I just don't believe it," Chandler told the station.
The day care, called Visions and Butterflies Child Care, has a state license in good order to care for as many as 12 children.
Police Inspector Todd Milburn said the mother dropped off her child at the house and spoke with someone there. As she was leaving, she saw a man near the house on foot, and something about him raised her suspicions.
The woman called the day care and was talking to someone at the house when the line went dead, Milburn said. She returned to the home and found three people had been shot. She grabbed her child and called 911. Police confirmed the victims were dead when they arrived.
No one else was inside the home when the woman returned, Milburn said.
Milburn said the woman saw the same suspicious man nearby, on a bicycle, when she returned to the day care.
Police said they had no information on how many children were typically cared for at Brown's home, or when they were normally dropped off.
A neighbor, Hakeem Hughes, 18, said he heard screaming coming from the direction of the house around 6:30 a.m. but didn't pay much attention because children often played outside the home. When he went to catch his bus to school, he said police told him to go back inside because a gunman was on the loose.
Brown's LinkedIn profile listed her as follow-up coordinator for Pink Purse Project Inc., a women's and girls' empowerment organization. She worked for nearly nine years in the nearby Osseo Area Schools system as a child care instructor and later child care site supervisor.