Local News

Investigators Seek Answers In Franklin County Murder-Suicide

Posted December 30, 2004 8:45 a.m. EST

— Investigators in Franklin County are looking into the apparent murder-suicide of a mother and her two teenage children early Wednesday morning.

Sheriff Jerry Jones believes Caroline Ollison, 36, shot her daughter and son before turning the gun on herself inside a mobile home on Whites Lane, located between Bunn and Youngsville.

Officials said Nicholle, 14, and Reginald Ollison, 13, were both shot in the head at point-blank range while sleeping.

Ollison had been living with a friend, Tammy Jackson and Jackson's 13-year-old son, for the last two months. Her children had been visiting since Monday. It was the teens' first meeting with their mother since their parents separated in September.

Jackson said the visit seemed to be strained. She claimed Caroline made remarks about her children hating her and the mother also argued with her daughter Tuesday night.

Jones said he does not know what was going on in Ollison's life to lead to such a tragic end.

"The children are innocent in this so far as I know. They have to be. If someone wants to take their own life, I don't agree with it, but to take someone else's chance at life -- that's hard," she said.

"I still don't understand it. It just doesn't make any sense," said Travis Carter, Jackson's brother.

Jackson told officials she was awakened by a noise at about 3 a.m. and found Ollison dead. Jones said Ollison used a rifle, which indicates she was determined considering the weapon can be difficult to fire.

Ollison's children lived with their father in Durham. They attended Lowes Grove Middle School.

Investigators said they will look into the couple's relationship and medical records to help determine why this happened.

They will also talk to family and friends.

Caroline Ollison worked for a mortgage company in north Raleigh.

Her boss said Ollison never really talked about her problems, but said it was evident she was struggling financially and could not afford to buy her children Christmas presents.

"These were difficult times for her," Brad Van Amberg said. "We've all gone through times when things were awful, but somehow we get through these things. It's a shame she thought that was her solution."

Van Amberg said he was aware that Ollison was going through a bitter divorce and did not have custody of her children