By Bobby Bordelon
Greenbrier County Sheriff Bruce Sloan confirmed the passing of Shaun Dawson Bumgarner, Riley James Bumgarner, Arikyle Nova Myers, Haiken Jirachi Myers, and Kian Myers during a press conference on Thursday, January 21. Oreanna Antoinette Myers, 25, killed the five children shortly before starting the December 8, 2020, house fire on Flynn’s Creek Road near WiIlliamsburg.
Sloan called the press conference a week before, announcing it would cover “information regarding the death investigation of December 8, 2020, on Flynn’s Creek Road near Williamsburg.”
“All five children were accounted for,” Sloan said. “Our moral fabric finds it unconscionable that a mother could take their child’s lives,” Sloan said. “… Through all the facts and evidence, that’s what we concluded did occur on December 8.”
Each child was under the age of ten – Myers was the biological mother of Aarikyle, Kian, and Haiken, while Myers’ husband Brian Bumgarner’s ex-wife is the mother of Shaun and Riley.
In a text message the day before, Myer told Bumgarner of three notes, labeled “To whoever finds this,” “My Confession,” and “My Will.” Sloan read from the first two, focusing on the importance of getting help when dealing with mental illness struggles.
“I’m sorry this is no one’s fault but my own,” Myers wrote. “My demons got a hold of me and there’s no going back. … I shot all the boys in the head. I set the house on fire.”
Bumgarner had not been residing in the home during the week – he did not have transportation to work, so he was staying near Lewisburg to be close to work. He was only home during the weekends and was a “tremendous” source of “tension” between the two.
Sloan confirmed he is unaware of any diagnosis or treatment. Review of texts between her and husband showed “disturbed” and “troubling” comments. Sloan also confirmed the absence of Bumgarner from the home seemed to be a “trigger” in these same text messages.
Forensic analysis determined the children’s remains contained shotgun pellets, four of which matched pellets found in Myers. Sloan confirmed Myers’ fingerprints were located on the 4.10 single-shot shotgun.
The case is now closed and Sloan said to take a “if you see something, say something” approach to helping those that could be struggling with mental health issues.
“You have to get help,” Sloan said. “You can’t let it fall on deaf ears. If you know someone who is expressing these [problems, help them get help.]”
Provisions have been made for the mental health of the law enforcement. Sloan and Greenbrier County Prosecutor Pat Via spoke of the excellent work of the first responders and investigators in this case, including the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department, Williamsburg Fire Department, West VIrginia State Police and their forensic lab, Marshall University for DNA analysis, and many more involved agencies.
Recently at the Greenbrier County Angel Tree ceremony, the memory of the five children was honored by residents and Bumgarner’s ex-wife, the mother they left behind. Five candles were lit, honoring each child and commemorating them.
“As we light these five candles in memory of and in honor of Shaun, Haiken, Aarikyle, Riley, and Kian,” read the memorial to the five children held on December 26, 2020, at the Greenbrier County Angel Tree. “We light one for grief, one for courage, one for memories, one for love, and one for hope. … May the glow of the candles flames be our source of hopefulness, now and forever. By holding these previous children in our memory, in our hearts and keeping the flame burning. They will never be forgotten. RIP Team Shark – Shaun, Haiken, Aarikyle, Riley, and Kian.”