A horrific murder-suicide involving the ex-wife of a prominent surgeon has rocked the metro Atlanta community.
The bodies of 58-year-old Dr. Marsha Edwards and her two children, Chris Edwards Jr., 24, and Erin Edwards, 20, were discovered inside their town home in the Atlanta suburb of Vinings on Wednesday around 6 p.m. Police were conducting a welfare check at the residence when they made the grim discovery.
Authorities said Erin and Chris both died from gunshot wounds, while Marsha died from an “apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
Chris and Erin’s father, Dr. Christopher Edwards, is a well-known Atlanta area surgeon and the former husband of Dr. Marsha Edwards, an equally prominent public affairs specialist and local business owner, according to Atlanta TV station 11Alive.
A spokesperson for the family said Christopher Edwards was “devastated” by the news.
“Dr. Christopher Edwards learned Wednesday of the death of his former wife, Dr. Marsha Edwards, and his two adult children, Chris Edwards, Jr. and Erin Edwards,” the statement said. “Dr. Edwards, his extended family and friends are in a state of grief and shock, [and] privacy of the family is paramount as arrangements are being made.”
Authorities believe Marsha, 58, shot and killed her two children before ultimately turning the gun on herself. An investigation into their deaths remains ongoing.
The beloved family was well-connected and had strong ties to the city of Atlanta. Dr. Christopher Edwards is a prominent orthopedic surgeon and chairman of the Atlanta Housing Authority. He is also a member of the board of trustees at Morehouse School of Medicine and formerly served as chair of the United Way of Greater Atlanta Health Committee, as well as other leadership positions.
His former wife, Marsha, was the owner of a medical equipment supply company called MME Enterprises, according to the company’s website.
The couple’s young adult children were just beginning their careers in the media/television industry. Chris, 24, a graduate of Elon University, was a digital content manager for the city of Atlanta and also worked in the mayor’s Office of Entertainment. Erin was a student at Boston University and took a summer internship with WNBC in New York.
Marsha and Chris attended the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) convention in Miami two weeks ago. Reporters from across the country shared photos and other memories of the family upon learning the heartbreaking news.
“I first met Chris (Jr.) at #NABJ14,” multi-media journalist Jade Jackson tweeted. “Her introduced me to his mother & sister. Every conference after, I looked forward to seeing Chris. We were JUST dancing together in Miami. he is a light; always encouraging. Always silly & goofy to cheer you up. RIP.”
“Erin Edwards, you were going to be one heck of an amazing journalist. This world will truly miss your light,” fellow journalist Blayne Alexander added.
11Alive reporter Francesca Amiker wrote: ‘TV News hit home today. Chris Edwards II was a ball of energy when we met two weeks ago at NABJ. Full of life. He was excited to elevate @ATLFilmEnt and bring new ideas to our city. I’m in shock and at a lost of words over his death.”
NABJ president Dorothy M. Tucker also extended her condolences to the family in a statement.
“The #NABJ family has lost three of our own,” she said. “Our prayers and thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of Marsha Edwards, Christopher Edwards II and Erin Edwards. This tragedy has claimed the lives of three members, but touches countless more.”
Dr. Marsha Edwards gushed over her children shortly before Wednesday’s tragedy. Her final post to Instagram, on the same day all three were found dead, was a series of smiling selfies with her daughter Erin as they vacationed in Rome, Italy.
“I’ve had the best summer, first with [Chris] in Miami, and Erin in Italy,” she wrote. “I could not ask for better children.”
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