Connie Henriksen Foster, 35, is pictured with her 10-year-old daughter, Layla
House. The two, along with Foster's 8-year-old son, David House, were found
dead in their home Monday evening, June 6, 2016, in a suspected murder-suicide.
The south Huntsville woman believed to have killed her two young children before taking her own life was embroiled in a custody fight with their father, who lived around the corner from where the three were found dead Monday.
A family member found Connie Henriksen Foster, 35, and her two children, Layla Leannette House, 10, and 8-year-old David Danger House, dead Monday evening inside their home at 11408 Crestfield Drive, located off of Mountain Gap Road. Police say the scene appeared to be a murder-suicide, but the cause of death for the three could not be immediately determined.
Lt. Stacy Bates, a Huntsville Police spokesman, said there were no obvious signs of injury, like gunshot or stab wounds. Autopsies are needed to determine the cause of death for the mother and children.
More information was anticipated to be made available Tuesday, Bates said.
The Huntsville school district released a statement shortly after noon Tuesday on behalf of Mountain Gap P-8, which both children attended.
"Layla was a vibrant, happy-go-lucky girl who was adored by her teachers and friends at Mountain Gap. David was a sweet, caring boy with a gentle spirit who was beloved by his classmates and teachers," read the statement. "They will be missed and we ask everyone to keep this family and the Mountain Gap school community in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
Friends on social media expressed shock at the alleged actions of the woman who, just two days before the bodies were discovered, called her children "(her) world."
Court records show that Foster and her ex-husband, David House, were due in court July 11 for a trial in their fight over custody of their children. Following their 2011 divorce, they had joint custody, with each having the children on alternating weeks.
House lives on Overlook Drive, around the corner from Foster's home.
The custody battle began in March of last year, when House sought a modification of their arrangement because, he argued, his ex-wife "intermittently used the current schedule as a weapon against (him)" to deny him equal time with the children.
House also sought a decrease in his child support obligations, citing a "material change in circumstance."
In her answer to the petition, Foster argued that, due to her ex-husband's frequent travel for work, she had custody of the children significantly more than 50 percent of the time.
"Until the filing of his petition, the father has never asked for additional time with the children, and, in fact, he relies on the mother's flexibility to accommodate his work schedule," the document reads.
Foster sought full physical custody of the children. She also argued that her ex-husband's salary had steadily increased since their divorce and asked that the judge keep child support payments in line with his salary.
In addition, she asked that House be found in criminal contempt of their custody agreement for failing to take the children to church during his week with them and for failing to ensure that they completed their homework.
The case was due to go before Circuit Judge Alison Austin next month.
Mom suspected of killing 2 children in murder-suicide was seeking sole custody of kids June 07, 2016