BEDFORD, N.H. (AP) — A 34-year-old woman shot and killed her two young daughters at their New Hampshire home before killing herself, authorities said Monday.
Assistant Attorney General Jay McCormack said police received a 911 call Saturday regarding a deceased woman at the home in Bedford. When officers arrived, they found two more people dead, he said.
The attorney general's office on Monday identified them as Nina Obukhov, her 8-year-old daughter Katherine and her 6-year-old daughter Elizabeth. Autopsies confirmed that all three died of gunshot wounds to the head. The girls' deaths were ruled homicides. The manner of the mother's death remained undetermined, but authorities said it appeared the mother shot the girls and then herself.
Flowers and stuffed animals were left next to a pile of yellow police tape outside the home Monday morning. Inside the school Katherine, known as "Katy," attended, officials were trying to provide the children with as much normalcy as possible while also making grief counselors available.
Deidre Helmke's son was in the same class as Katy for both first and second grade as part of a class that stayed together for their first two years of elementary school. Helmke, who served as "room mother" for first grade, described it as a tight-knit group. On Monday, she was flipping through school yearbooks looking at pictures of Katy, whom she remembered as a "little peanut."
"She was a sweet little blonde-haired girl, quiet," Helmke said.
Helmke said Nina Obukhov also was quiet. While she didn't know her well, she saw Obukhov at school and occasionally bumped into her while running errands.
"She didn't stand out as being any different from any other mom," she said. "She would chat a bit about the kids and then move on."
While school officials notified parents about the deaths on Sunday, they did not identify the victims, leaving Helmke and other parents unsure what to tell their children. Not wanting him to find out at school, she told her son that she "heard a report that Katy passed away." He teared up and wanted to know how.
"I told him I honestly don't know, and I gave him a hug," she said.
Business records list Obukhov's husband, Alexey, as the registered agent at a gun shop in Merrimack, where employees declined to comment on Monday.