Neighbors in shock after murder-suicide claims life of 4-year-old girl and her mother in Cleveland Heights

Shock and disbelief after murder-suicide in Cleveland Heights

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - Neighbors are in shock, wondering what led a young mother to shoot her daughter before killing herself in what Cleveland Heights police are calling a murder-suicide.

“I’m still just trying to wrap my mind around what triggered it, what triggered that response? Something led to that,” said Cheryl Rush, who lives down the road from the house where the bodies were found on Saturday.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Officer has identified the two as Noelle Loren Cotton, 34, and Savannah Noelle Cotton, 4, both of Cleveland Heights.

An official cause and manner of death weren’t made public as of late Monday afternoon.

Police Chief Annette Mecklenburg confirmed to 19 News that investigators were treating the scene like that of a murder-suicide, adding that no additional information would be released immediately.

By Monday, Belmore Road was mostly quiet, but neighbors were starting to hear more about what happened.

“I’ve got children and grandchildren, we all go through stuff and we all process things differently as well,” Rush said, noting that her father called her Sunday night to tell her about the shooting. “Wow. That’s so tragic,” she said.

Outside the front door of the home sat two stuffed animals, a reminder of a young life.

“I’m trying to wrap my mind around what triggered that type of response,” Rush kept saying.

That difficult task is now the same one facing police.

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