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La. mother, 3 children found shot dead

Associated Press / July 13, 2011

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KENNER, La. - A 29-year-old mother and her three daughters - the youngest 6 months old - were shot to death yesterday in their home in a quiet New Orleans suburb.

The bodies of Nadia Braxton and her children; Kayla Peters, 12, Nayah Peters, 1 1/2, and Nyla Peters, 6 months, were on one bed. The children’s were lengthwise, Braxton’s body across theirs, and a gun was at the foot of the bed, Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway said. Pending the autopsies, it looked as though the case was a murder-suicide, said police spokesman Lieutenant Wayne McInnis.

Caraway said police were questioning the father, who called authorities about 5 p.m. to report he went upstairs and found the bodies after nobody greeted him when he got home from work or answered when he called out.

Caraway said the father’s last name is Peters; he did not know the first. An online phone directory lists Ronald J. Peters at that address.

Seven family members huddled, crying, in the street as the bodies were brought out.

Police said they had no record of any calls or disturbances at the neatly kept two-story brick and white weatherboard house with red shutters.

Neighbors said they learned something was wrong only when police cars pulled up yesterday. They didn’t know the family, but said they were always polite. “They kept to themselves,’’ said George Windstein, who has lived for 40 years one house away from the Peters’.

Correction: An earlier version of this story about the shooting deaths of a mother and her three children at a home in suburban New Orleans incorrectly spelled the first name of one of the victims, 18-month-old Nayah Peters.

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