Sources: Mom texted about 'unruly' kids before Elmhurst-area shooting, then texted she did it

  • Authorities are investigating the background of an Elmhurst-area mother who shot and killed her two sons before turning the gun on herself.

      Authorities are investigating the background of an Elmhurst-area mother who shot and killed her two sons before turning the gun on herself. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/15/2019 9:03 PM

Jaime Jones did not leave a note detailing what drove her to shoot her two teenage sons multiple times Friday before setting fire to her Elmhurst-area home and fatally shooting herself, authorities said Monday.

But investigators are examining the 43-year-old mother's other communications leading up to the slayings of Jason M. Harris, 16, and Nathan A. Harris, 19, and her own death.

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Sheriff's officials familiar with the investigation said authorities are looking at text messages the mother sent to friends or family members before and after the slayings.

In one, Jones wrote that she was "upset with her kids" who were being "unruly" and "disrespectful." But she never indicated she planned to kill her sons or herself, authorities said.

Later, Jones texted to a couple of people that she had just shot her sons and she was going to kill herself, the officials said.

Jones and her two sons were found dead after authorities responded to a house fire about 9:30 p.m. Friday on Willow Road in unincorporated DuPage County, sheriff's police said. Jones had set the fire, they said.

Investigators also are trying to piece together the past several years of the woman's life to see what may have led to the shootings. She and her husband, Len, divorced in the spring of 2016.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Jason Harris was an incoming junior at York High School and Nathan Harris was a recent graduate of the Elmhurst school.

Elmhurst Unit District 205 spokeswoman Beverly Redmond said counselors were available at York on Monday and about 10 students had come to see them by midday.

"It's a testament to how our students are really attached to school that they feel they can come in over the summer," she said.

Sunday, DuPage authorities suggested resources for those experiencing difficulties in their lives and needing assistance, including NAMI of DuPage County, http://namidupage.org/; the DuPage County Health Department, www.dupagehealth.org/mental-health; Central DuPage Pastoral Counseling Center, https://cdpcc.org/; and the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or (800) 273-8255.

Funeral arrangements are still pending.

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