ATLANTA — A Cobb County Medical Examiner's office report released Wednesday states Marsha Edwards shot her son at least five times as he lay in bed and then shot her daughter three times in August, killing them both, before shooting herself in the chest.
It also reveals for the first time that 24-year-old Christopher Edwards II was killed in a room where he was in bed and that his mother shot and killed 20-year-old Erin Edwards in a separate room. The sister and mother died in the same room, the report states.
The report does not definitively state that Christopher Edwards II was asleep, or lay out a definitive timeline.
"Per meeting with Detective Murphy of the Cobb County Police Department, investigation shows no evidence of a fourth party being involved in the three deaths at this residence," Marsha Edwards' autopsy report concludes. "Based on the information available at this time, the cause of death is certified as gunshot wound of the chest. Given the findings of the police investigation, the manner of death is certified as suicide."
The report lists a small amount of alcohol in Marsha Edwards' system, less than the legal drinking limit. The medical examiner also told 11Alive's Faith Abubey it could have been a byproduct of body decomposition.
Chris Edwards II was a digital content manager for the City of Atlanta and Erin Edwards was a Boston University journalism student who interned this summer at WNBC in New York.
The brother and sister were seen as promising young media professionals with bright futures.
They were the children of Dr. Christopher Edwards, a prominent Atlanta surgeon who is a board member both at the Atlanta Housing Authority and Morehouse School of Medicine.
Dr. Marsha Edwards was Christopher Edwards' ex-wife, and owned and operated a medical equipment supply company. She herself had an extensive history in the Atlanta medical community.
They family dynamic appeared idyllic in social media posts, Marsha Edwards posting 'I could not ask for better children' on Instagram just days before killing them.
The murder-suicide stunned the well-heeled family's social circle. At their August funeral a woman who had known Marsha since elementary school, the Rev. Terri Lemons, described the sudden loss as tough, and perhaps spoke for many expressing "grief, shock and loss."
At the funeral, Marsha's niece Kamil "Missy" Finister asked those in attendance to remember the best of the family.
"As we grieve, I’d encourage you not to focus on what we don’t know, but what we do know - and that’s that this family was full of love," she said. "We ask you respect us as we grieve three members of our family we loved deeply.”