It was no less than a nightmare for a Texas mother who discovered her three daughters went missing from home while she had left them with a babysitter. Trying not to panic, the mom-of-six filed a report initiating a multi-agency search for her girls. Little did she know that her babies wouldn't return home alive.
When parents leave their children alone at home, they prefer someone they trust to babysit in their absence. Once they feel their kids are safe with the babysitter, their worries about them can reduce.
The mother in today's story chose a family friend to look after her three daughters while she went to work. However, things took an unexpected turn, and the girls mysteriously disappeared. Even the babysitter had no idea where they were.
A NOT-SO-REGULAR DAY
When the 28-year-old mom-of-six, Shommaonique Oliver, went to work on July 29, 2022, she had no idea three of her children would go missing. For their safety, she had asked a family friend to look after her kids at her Cass County home in Texas while she was at work.
Everything was going as planned until the babysitter suddenly realized three of the six children were missing. She searched the entire house but couldn't find nine-year-old Zi'ariel Oliver, eight-year-old Amiyah Hughes, and five-year-old Temari Oliver.
At 10 p.m. that night, the family friend called 911 to inform them about the three missing girls. She had also alerted Shommaonique, who was on her way back home.
THE SEARCH OPERATION
A multi-agency search began for the three girls soon after the family friend reported it to the authorities. Officials from the Texas Parks and Wildlife and Cass County Sheriff's Office and a few volunteer firefighters arrived at Shommaonique's house and began looking for the girls in the dark.
At around 2 a.m. on July 30, 2022, the divers came up with three dead bodies of little girls that matched the description the police had of Shommaonique's girls.
Meanwhile, the helpless mother cried and prayed for the safe return of her girls. She and her family friend had no idea how the girls mysteriously disappeared from the residence. They had no clue what made the three girls leave the house.
THE BIG CLUE
As the search operation continued, the officials spread in different directions, and some went to search a neighbor's property. Inside the property was a pond, where something caught the searcher's attention. It was a pair of girls' shoes sitting beside the pond. Texas Game Warden Shawn Hervey recalled:
"We located items of clothing around a pond and in a pond. So, we centered the search around that small body of water."
Shommaonique's heart skipped a beat when she learned about the police discovering her daughter's shoes and clothes. Meanwhile, the authorities sent divers into the pond in search of the little girls. What they found at the bottom of the body of water shocked everyone.
INSIDE THE POND
At around 2 a.m. on July 30, 2022, the divers came up with three dead bodies of little girls that matched the description the police had of Shommaonique's girls. They sent the bodies for autopsies to determine the cause of their death, while Shommaonique confirmed that the shoes on the property belonged to her daughter.
The police weren't sure about the cause of death and didn't know why the girls went to their neighbor's property. They hadn't accused anyone of anything and thought it might be an accident. Lieutenant Game Warden Jason Jones said:
"That is unknown, whether they were swimmers or not. None of them had life jackets on, so I don't know how strong of swimmers they were or if were swimmers at all [sic]."
A SHOCKING INCIDENT
In a video shared by KSLA, viewers saw a bicycle dumped near the incident site, but it wasn't clear if it belonged to the three girls. The news of the authorities discovering three dead bodies of little girls propagated waves of terror and confusion in the neighborhood.
Meanwhile, media outlets tried approaching the heartbroken mother of the three girls, but she refused to give interviews since it was a difficult time for her.
Instead, she took to social media to express her grief. The heartbroken mother, who had her family by her side, wrote:
"I have to be strong for the sake of my other 3 Babies because they need me more than ever!"
THE HEARTBROKEN MOTHER
While waiting to bury her babies, the devastated mother asked people for monetary support to lay them to rest. She made a GoFundMe page with a target to collect $25,000, and more than $9,500 have been raised with the help of 179 generous donors.
Meanwhile, Shommaonique expressed her sadness on Facebook by saying:
"Lord, pls, and I mean, pls, I want my kids back. This hurt and words can't explain the pain I'm going through. I just want my baby girls back in my arm [sic]."
Friends and family supported Shommaonique during the most challenging phase of her life when she lost three of her kids at once. They empathized with her and patiently listened to her talk about her pain.
COMMENTS FROM STRANGERS
Not only did her friends and family support her, but strangers on the internet also shared kind words for Shommaonique. Here are some of the comments people left under Daily Mail's Facebook post about the unfortunate incident:
"So sad. My heart goes out to their mother. They are 3 beautiful angels in God's hands now, so heartbreaking, GodSpeed."
- (@Bonnie Crouch) August 1, 2022
"I hope they're looking into the babysitter more. I have a hard time believing that they just "vanished" while in the care of the babysitter. Something is majorly off with this whole story. Those precious babies."
- (@Jessica Sha) August 1, 2022
"Idk. I just feel like they would not have got in on their own unless the older girls went in to save the youngest (or try to). Doesn't sound right. My deepest condolences to their parents and family!"
-(@Kelly Poe) August 1, 2022
"Teach your kids to swim, please. It's a gift and will save lives. Rest in paradise, babies."
-(@Michelle L Farmer-Colombe) August 1, 2022
"This is such a terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to the family. Prayers."
-(@Dona Dover) August 1, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with Shommaonique and her family as they deal with the pain of this unfortunate incident.
Click here to read another story about a 7-year-old California boy who risked his life to save a drowning 3-year-old from the bottom of a pool.
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