ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - It all started over a child custody dispute--and ended with a branch of the McIntosh family tree fallen.
A father and his two daughters dead, along with the father of his daughter's baby, the girls' mother recovering from traumatic injuries in the hospital. Perhaps most tragic, an 18-month-old girl is now orphaned.
Friends, family and community members met Sunday evening for a vigil at Phalen Park to commemorate a family and wrap their heads around a deadly weekend in St. Paul, while the only person who really knows what happened is now sitting in the Ramsey County Jail.
19-year old Maria McIntosh and 20-year-old Jeffery Jamaile Taylor had their baby, Cheyenne, a year and a half ago, and since have been involved in an intense custody battle, according to multiple sources.
Still, McIntosh took pride in her motherhood and her budding family.
"Maria was so very proud of the mother that she was," her cousin Louis Hernandez said. "There was domestic violence between the two of them but Maria just played it off."
The situation erupted early Friday morning when Jeffery Jamaile Taylor and his half-brother, 19-year-old Jeffery Arkis Taylor, allegedly gunned down Maria, her parents and her sister.
Maria's mother, Anita Sprosty, was the lone survivor, and is now recovering from her injuries in the hospital.
Officers canvassing the area near the McIntosh's Apartment found Jeffery Jamaile Taylor dead after an apparent suicide, and his brother hiding out in a nearby shed with his half-brother's child.
He was booked into the Ramsey County Jail on three counts of aiding and abetting murder, one count of aiding and abetting attempted murder and one count of kidnapping.
Cheyenne was taken to Children’s Hospital for evaluation, but had no apparent injuries. She is now in protective custody with a family member.
Jeffery Arkis Taylor is expected to be charged Monday.
Before Sunday's vigil the McIntosh's family released this statement:
First, I'd like to thank those of you that have already helped us. Your concern and help is proof that God is always with us, and that we still live in a world with love and hope. We have lost our family, Uncle Wade, Maria and Olivia McIntosh, Two inseparable sisters and their devoted father. Maria leaves behind Cheyenne, an 18-month-old baby girl.
This great loss is not only for who they were to each of us ,but the spirit of who they were together. There is a future each of them deserved, which contained the joy and laughter that they brought to the world. This is why we must remember their positive energy and happiness.
Baby Cheyenne has experienced and share's the loss of her Mother, her Father, Aunt and Grandfather with all who lost, this child needs and has us. Our family is here to always care for her and to always be those things she needs, without pause or restriction. She is the living and enduring spirit of those we lost. We as a family will always raise her to know this, to empower her and protect her. Cheyenne's upbringing is our everlasting focus, for she is the future. She represents not only loss but love.
Our beloved aunt Anita Sprotsy was shot while sleeping in her bed, that she often shared with her granddaughter. Anita will fight and recover, because that is who she is. She has always shared her strength as a sister, mother, aunt and friend. Her laugh is contagious and for those of you that shared a laugh with her, you know how epic and intoxicating it could be. She is filled with life, love and spirit. Anita will need help digesting this tragic incident and through prayer and good faith, as we know, she will overcome.
For each of you that are empathetic and wish to help, there is something you could do, please direct that generosity and kindness to the US Bank- Mcintosh Family Relief Fund or Go Fund Me @ McIntosh Family Relief Fund.
Our family is close, we do not know any other way. We were raised to help with the babies, play with the kids, talk to one another. We celebrate together, praise the Lord together and stand together but most all we have tried to instill love and understanding in each other.
Even though a whole branch has been taken and removed, our family tree will never fall. We are there for the each beginning, the glorious middle and the reluctant ends. We hold each family member in our hearts whether they are near or far.
As a last plea, we ask that you hold those you love, hold your blessings to your chest, because as easily as they are giving, they can be taken.
We are so thankful for the outpouring of love and support from our community, extended family and friends. We are humbled by those who we do not know, but will forever be grateful for your kindness.
In closing, we wish you peace in your home, happiness in your heart and love for Mankind.