Novi police said the two boys found slain in their home Friday died of asphyxiation.
Novi Police Chief David Molloy said the boys – Thornton Creek Elementary School students 6-year-old Tynan and 4-year-old Camden – were smothered. Their mother, 38-year-old Jennifer Schons, was killed by multiple stabbings with a knife.
The boys' father, Mark Schons, who police said killed Tynan, Camden and their mother, was found in a parking lot in South Lyon Friday afternoon shortly after the bodies were found in Novi. His cause of death has been ruled as carbon monoxide poisoning from a charcoal grill, which was found on the passenger seat of his GMC Acadia. Also in the car, police found the knife used to kill Jennifer Schons.
The time of death has not yet been determined. The bodies were examined Saturday morning by the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Police had not yet determined a motive, Molloy said. However, he said the couple had financial problems and were considering divorce. Mark Schons ran a party supply business in Howell that went out of business and took a computer programming position in the Lansing area. Jennifer Schons was an engineer for General Motors since 1996, according to her LinkedIn professional profile.
School district trying to cope
Thornton Creek Elementary School is in Novi but sits close to the Novi-Northville border and is part of the Northville public school district.
On Friday, longtime Northville superintendent Leonard Rezmkierski appeared at the Novi police news conference. He talked about the district's efforts to offer grief counseling resources when classes resume on Monday.
"It is an unthinkable tragedy," he said. "We've put together our crisis team."
Northville Psychotherapy and Counseling Services executive director Arnold Keller offered a few tips in broaching such delicate situations with children.
He advises parents not to avoid the subject, to talk to their children and watch for delayed reactions.