FESTUS, Mo. – Some Festus residents were in tears Tuesday night, even though they did not know the children of a mother who allegedly confessed to killing them

“We just can’t stop thinking about it,” Festus resident Chrissy Cain said. She placed flowers outside the Festus Police Department.

“I have three kids,” resident Kaitlynn Wiley said as she stood next to Cain. “I just can’t imagine.”

The multi-jurisdictional investigation is being led by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Dave Marshak said a disheveled and wet woman arrived at the Festus Police Department Tuesday morning, confessing to shooting her daughter and drowning her son.

“Festus police immediately went to the parking lot, identified and located a nine-year-old female victim with a gunshot wound, and attempted life-saving measures but were unable to successfully save the nine-year-old,” he said.

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Sheriff’s deputies then responded to Timber Creek Resort in unincorporated Festus, where they located a two-year-old boy in a fountain area near the entrance.

“Officers jumped into the water, recovered the body, and attempted life-saving measures as well,” Marshak said. “They were also unsuccessful in saving the life of the child.”

A family friend of the nine-year-old victim said she loved to play softball, fishing and enjoyed the outdoors. He said the family could use prayers and support.

Even though Wiley doesn’t know the family, she’s ready to offer her support. 

“We’re all praying for you, and I’m so sorry that this happened,” she said. “My prayers and thoughts are with you for sure.”

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday evening that 36-year-old Ashley Parmeley of Pevely, Mo., is currently facing one charge of second-degree murder for the death of her son. The investigation of her daughter’s death continues and officials intend to apply for more charges.

The case has also taken a toll on first responders, according to Marshak.

“Pray for the family and I would ask that you say a special prayer for our first responders,” he said.