By Tom Mustin
HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – Flowers and balloons lined the Laber family home in Highlands Ranch after an unspeakable tragedy.
“How something like this can happen is dumbfounding to me,” neighbor Brian Deulley told CBS4’s Tom Mustin.
On Wednesday morning, Jennifer Laber and her two sons, 3-year-old Adam and 5-year-old Ethan, were found dead inside the family’s minivan. Jennifer Laber’s mother told CBS4 all had died from gunshot wounds.
Laber’s husband had reported them missing Tuesday Night.
“Everybody is blindsided. We had no indication, nothing like that. No abrupt behavior by any means. Just blindsided,” said family spokesperson Brandon Tartler.
The mother and sons were last seen on surveillance video Tuesday just before 2 p.m. leaving Bear Canyon Elementary School early. After an intense search by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Lone Tree Police, a passerby spotted the family’s vehicle behind the Sports Authority store on County Line and Quebec.
“We certainly did not see the horrific ending,” said Chief Dep. Steve Johnson with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
Neighbor Brad Baldwin recently spoke with Jennifer Laber and said she appeared to be happy.
“Nice lady. We exchanged phone numbers. We talked about trying to do a block party,” Baldwin said.
Neighbors say the couple moved to Colorado two years ago from Minnesota. The sheriff’s office is not commenting on the possibility of a murder-suicide, but they do say there is no threat to the public.
Tartler commented on speculation Jennifer Laber had battled depression.
“Depression is real. It is what it is. Not sure what’s going on now. We know we’ve lost a wonderful mom and two boys,” he told Mustin.
As and deputies tried to piece together an horrific crime, Deully spoke for his fellow neighbors.
“Hug your kids and love them and try to be the best person you can for them,” he said.
The sheriff’s office says Ryan Laber, Jennifer’s husband, is cooperating with authorities and is not considered a suspect. The investigation is ongoing.