Detroit police discovered the bodies of a 23-year-old woman and her 37-year-old live-in boyfriend on the city's west side after the couple's toddler answered the phone and alerted family members that something had happened.
"What we do know is that family members were calling this morning and the phone was answered by the 3-year-old, who expressed that something was wrong," said Detroit Deputy Police Chief James Tolbert.
Jeanette Culpepper said she went to Mylisa Townsend's home on Santa Rosa Street at about 9 a.m. and discovered that her daughter and her boyfriend, Vashaun Peterson, had been shot to death.
Initially, police were not sure if the double shooting was a result of a murder-suicide, but since no weapon was found, police are now investigating the case as a double homicide.
The couple's 3-year-old son and 2-month-old daughter were at the home during the double fatal shooting but they were not injured. Police said they believe the toddler may have witnessed his mother's slaying.
" All we knew is my grandson answered the phone and said, 'My mama is dead,'" said Culpepper.
It's unknown when the couple was killed and how long the children were in the home with the bodies for.
The children were taken into protective custody, but Culpepper said she will fight to win custody of them.
Culpepper had said she feared the deaths were result of a murder suicide because the couple had a history of domestic violence.
"Earlier on, he did pull her hair out one day last year," said Culpepper.
However, Culpepper said recently, it seemed like the couple was getting along better.
"As far as I know, she was getting ready to move and they were looking for houses. I talked to her the other day and she said she had found one. As far as I know, everything seemed fine," said Culpepper.
"It seemed like they were happy. They just had a newborn," said Neighbor Booker Braziel.
Townsend was a drug store clerk, but she was off on maternity leave.
"She loved her family. If anyone needed anything she would help them. Her heart was good," said Culpepper.
A police investigation continues. Police have not released a possible motive for the shooting or suspect description.