TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The wife of a military officer serving overseas told detectives she fatally shot her teenage son and daughter inside their upscale home because they were being "mouthy," police said Friday.
Police said Julie Powers Schenecker admitted the slayings after officers found her covered in blood on the back porch of her home Friday morning, police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said. Schenecker's mother had called police from Texas because she was unable to reach the 50-year-old woman, whom she said was depressed and had been complaining about her children.
Schenecker's husband, Parker Schenecker, is an Army colonel serving in Qatar and was notified of his children's deaths later Friday, McElroy said. He was assigned to U.S. Central Command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.
Julie Schenecker left a note detailing her plans to kill her disrespectful children and then herself, saying "they talked back and were mouthy and that she was going to take care of it," McElroy said. She provided the same motive to police who interviewed her.
"I think we will never understand how or why a mother could take the lives of her children," McElroy said. "That was the only reason she provided to our detectives."
The body of Schenecker's daughter, Calyx Powers Schenecker, 16, was found in an upstairs bedroom, McElroy said. The body of her son, Powers Beau Schenecker, 13, was found in an SUV in the garage. Police believe they were killed Thursday night. Both were shot in the head with a .38-caliber pistol.
There were no signs of a struggle, and McElroy said investigators believe the teens "never saw it coming."
Julie Schenecker was jailed and charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Wearing a white jumpsuit, she was led into a county jail later Friday visibly shaking and being supported by a sheriff's deputy.
The family's home is on a cul-de-sac in a gated country club community in north Tampa. Hillsborough County property records show that the Scheneckers bought the house in 2008 for $448,000. It now has a market value of $261,000.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)