ORONO, Minn. (WCCO) — Police made a heartbreaking discovery Monday night during a welfare check in Orono.
A woman and young boy were inside the home on Bayview Place, dead from an apparent murder-suicide.
A family member asked police to go to the home on a welfare check around 8 p.m. When officers entered the basement, they found the bodies of 47-year-old Gina Sommers and her 5-year-old son, Jude.
Police say they were also called to the home earlier in the evening when a father said he couldn’t reach the mother of the child he was supposed to pick up as part of a scheduled custody arrangement.
The tragedy has shaken the quiet west metro neighborhood.
“A lot of us are parents. It’s difficult dealing with…any tragedy is difficult in these circumstances,” said Orono Police Chief Correy Farniok.
Court records show Sommers shared custody of her son with a man named Jeffry Sandberg. Records also show that Sommers had filed a civil case against him.
The two were in relationship at one time but never married.
Sommers was suing Sandberg to fulfil an alleged agreement to cover 50 percent of their fertility treatments she underwent before having their son.
In one document, she claims Sandberg refused to pay child support for 9 months, and that she and her son were living in poverty.
Now the investigation will look into the motive of what police believe is a murder-suicide.
Sommers was a realtor for Fazendin Realty. She had been with them for three years.
The firm released a statement saying Sommers would be remembered as a happy person and loving mother.