Osage Co. Sheriff: Father Killed 3 Children

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The deaths of three children in an Osage County home Monday have been ruled a homicide.

Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn said Wednesday that the children's mother, Amy Shirley, received a call from school Monday morning, saying the children weren't there. When no one answered the home phone at 212 S. Lawrence in Scranton, she went there and, with a neighbor, discovered the home had been burnt. They then found four bodies inside.

The victims are identified as Michael Shirley, 52, Ethan Shirley, 14, Ashten Shirley, 11, and Caleb Shirley, 9.

Dunn says the investigation has determined that the children were all victims of a homicide. She says their father, Michael Shirley, killed them, attempted to take his own life, then set the house on fire. An autopsy determined that he died as a result of the fire. His death has been ruled the result of suicide.

Dunn did not provide details on how the children died, only to say they did not die from fire or gunshot injuries.

Final lab reports could take several months. The investigation will be ongoing between the Scranton Police Department, Osage County Sheriff, Kansas State Fire Marshall and the Shawnee County Coroners office.