Jul 18, 2011

Kayla, 12 (l) Nayah, almost 2 (r)



One can only imagine what might have been going through the mind of a 29 year old mother of three, when she raised her gun and pulled the trigger on her six month old, her one year old and her 12 year old daughters, and then turning the gun on herself.

Before the New Orleans native Nadia Braxton killed her children and herself, her preacher says she reached out for help.

Kenneth Taylor of Elysian Fields Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans told police last week "She felt hopeless, full of anxiety, she didn't know what to do. She needed God to tell her whether she belongs here."

Taylor offered his advice, prayers, inspirational readings and a suggested Braxton call him for help. The mother called the pastor Tuesday morning, hours before she killed herself and her children.

Pastor Taylor was busy with the church's day camp, and decided to return the call later that afternoon. "I tried back Tuesday about 4 o'clock," Taylor said. "There was no answer."

Later that evening, Braxton's long time companion and father to the three murdered children, Ronald Peters, came home to a gruesome discovery. All three girls, Kayla Peters, 12, Nayah, 1 and Nyla, 6 months, laid in Kayla's bed with a bullet hole in their head and Braxton laid on top of Kayla, also with a bullet hole to the head. Peters called 911 in shock, telling them that his entire family was dead in bed.

Family, friends and neighbors had no idea the mental state Braxton was in. According to accounts, she would mostly stay home to raise her children, but was worried about the financial problems the family was facing, including the possible bank foreclosure on their home.

Braxton's mother, Nadine Sandifer, said she didn't know her daughter felt so hopeless. "I wish I could have helped her," she said. "She was hurting so bad. I didn't know the extent of all she was going through."

Ronald Peters' grandmother, Edora Myles, said he told her that he, too, didn't realize Braxton was distraught.

"He said she didn't seem depressed to him," Myles said. "He didn't understand how he didn't see it."

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