Brandon, Kyle, and Marnie Warren were found shot to death in the family's home in an apparent double murder-suicide. Before the shootings, social workers say they tried at least 11 times to talk with the Warrens, but the report said their parents, Kent and Nissa Warren, consistently resisted all attempts by the Department of Social Services to aid the family.
"It's a lesson that we have to learn in terms of protecting children, that it is very important to have access to children," social worker Debra McHenry said.
The report said numerous people in the community had concerns about the children's physical and emotional well-being, but they failed to identify it as abuse or neglect.
"I've been in law enforcement for 26 years and this was one of the worst maintained homes I've ever been in," Johnston County investigator Dale Wheeler said.
"In this case, people had a lot of concerns, but they weren't really sure if it crossed the line or what they should do about it and really struggled, I think, with that decision," McHenry said.
Kent and Nissa Warren had a criminal background. In 1991, they each pleaded guilty to one count of felony child abuse in Arizona, but authorities in North Carolina did not know that. The state's Division of Social Services does not have the capability of accessing that information.
According to the report, the Warren children were home-schooled. The report recommends a task force look at home schooling to determine if there is a link between children who are abused and those who are taught at home.
The report also said public health experts and veterinarians should be consulted when there are cases of unsanitary conditions involving people and animals.
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