Memorial Services Scheduled for Teens Found Shot in Mobile Home
Posted July 31, 2001 8:24 a.m. EDT
KENLY, N.C. — Memorial services have been set for three teen-age siblings who were found dead in their home last week. Meanwhile, Johnston County authorities have not determined a motive for the shootings.
Services for Marnie Rose Warren, 19, Brandon Keith Warren, 14, and Bradley Kyle Warren, 13, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at McLaurin Funeral Home near Clayton, said Mark Newbold, the Warrens' pastor at Triangle Bible Church in Raleigh. The memorial service is open to the public.
The three siblings were found shot to death Thursday in their mobile home, which was filled with trash and animal droppings.
Johnston County investigators say it could be Wednesday before autopsy results are released.
The parents of three teenagers were warned by child protection workers to clean up living conditions or their children would be taken away, according to a neighbor.
Joyce Davis, 65, who lives about a mile and a half away, said Brandon Keith Warren, 14, and Bradley Kyle Warren, 13, spent nights with her and husband for the past eight weeks.
Davis said that she and her family had planned to take the boys on a fishing trip for Bradley's birthday Thursday. That was the day the boys and their older sister were found shot to death in their home, which was filled with trash and animal droppings.
Davis said the children's mother, Nissa Warren, asked if the boys could stay with her because she had been given three months to improve the home and was trying to find another mobile home to purchase.
"Nissa was told she had to repair it or get something else to live in," Davis said. She also said Warren was told in a court hearing that "if she found somewhere for the children to stay, the children wouldn't be taken away."
Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell described the home Friday as "one of the filthiest'' death scenes he had ever seen. It was full of garbage and animal feces, and outside were piles of wood and animal pens for goats, chickens, geese and potbellied pigs.
Bizzell said Friday that he expects by early this week to receive autopsy reports and results of tests on a gun found in the home. He also said that he has not ruled out the possibility of a murder-suicide.
Court records show that Nissa Warren, 41, and Kent Warren, 43, were convicted of child abuse 10 years ago in Mesa, Ariz., where they lived until 1996. The couple was placed on probation, but the children were not removed permanently from the home.
The court records said the Warrens had a "dysfunctional" family, and that Nissa told the children "not to tell anybody" and to hide the bruises from their beatings.
Nissa Warren "has no compassion for her children and has no remorse for the spankings," the records said. She also professed an adamant belief in corporal punishment even after they came under investigation for child abuse.
Davis' husband, Willard, said he would often see the children in the yard or in the trees, and that they would drop into a crouch, as if to hide, whenever he drove by.
Curtis Edgerton, another neighbor in Johnston County, said he reported the children's living conditions to Social Services twice and that he had seen Nissa Warren pull a gun on one of his friends.
"It's worse than a concentration camp over there," Edgerton said.