Spillett family

Preston mother Summer Spillett stands with her four children in a 2016 family photo. Three of those children were apparently shot and killed by her estranged husband, Tate Lee Spillett, on Sunday.

Multiple families are grieving after a 37-year-old man and three children were found dead in their home Sunday evening in an apparent murder-suicide.

According to Preston Police Chief Ken Geddes, police were called to the home located at 67 W. 200 South in Preston at about 5 p.m. on Sunday after a friend stopped by.

After the investigation that followed, police say it appears Tate Lee Spillett used a semi-automatic rifle to shoot and kill the children in their beds at about 4:30 a.m. that morning before taking his own life.

Police have identified the children as 15-year-old Corbin Hillaker, 7-year-old Tate McCoy Spillett, and 6-year-old Jessica Spillett.

Another child was not living at home at the time of the shooting, and the children’s mother, Summer Spillett, was out of state on business at the time of the shooting, a family friend said Monday.

Police delayed the release of information until her return.

While there are no indications of why the shootings took place, police say they have visited the home multiple times for issues regarding the children, and the Spilletts were in the process of a divorce.

Multiple accounts have been set up to help cover burial costs. Donations may be made at any Wells Fargo Bank into Summer’s Angels Memorial Fund. Or online donations may be made at https://www.youcaring.com/summerlaytonspillett-761072 or https://www.gofundme.com/funeral-services-spillett-family.



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Amy Macavinta is the crime reporter for The Herald Journal. She can be reached at amacavinta@hjnews.com.