SANDUSKY, Ohio - Paralyzed. That's how close friends and family of 23-year-old Heather Jackson described their emotions Sunday.
A homicide investigation is underway after Sandusky police found 23-year-old Jackson and her two kids dead inside their Sandusky home the night before.
Police responded to the home in the 700 block of John Street around 6:30 p.m. Saturday for a welfare check. Authorities said someone called police saying they had not heard from Jackson. When police arrived on scene, officers say they found 23-year-old Jackson deceased, reportedly wedged between a mattress and a box spring. Police found her daughter, around 3-years-old, and her son, about 18-months-old, both deceased and in a closet.
"How can you take a life of a young, beautiful woman plus her two children. You're sick," said the victim's long-time friend, Stephanie Morehrt. Morehrt said she couldn't believe the news and described Jackson as a well-liked young woman and loving mom who adored her two kids.
Amanda Thoren went with Morehrt to visit Jackson's home where a makeshift memorial now sits. She told NewsChannel5, "I want to cry right now … I had a little bit of emotion come out ... last night, but for the most part it's unreal to me."
Both friends and a cousin of Jackson's said the young mother worked two jobs and was married, but recently went through a separation. Those two friends believe drugs may be a motive. They told NewsChannel5 Jackson used drugs, but Thoren said, "Her drugs didn't come between the way she took care of her children, it didn't come in between the way she was as a person. She was a wonderful, beautiful, outgoing girl and she didn't not deserve this at all." A cousin of Jackson's told NewsChannel5, the victim was on the right path and recently moved into the John Street home hoping to make a new life for her and her children.
Sandusky police did not say how the three victims were killed but issued a press release reading, "… the deaths of these three people are being considered as suspicious in nature."
Debbie Howman, a neighbor, said police removed several boxes of evidence from the home. As the investigation continues, all Howman says she can do now is hope and pray. She told NewsChannel5, "I believe police will catch who did this, I just hope her family has some kind of peace. That's who needs peace now."
Police are not naming any suspects at this time.
NewsChannel5 is following this developing story and will update you with the latest information as it becomes available.