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High Point father who killed wife, 3 kids dealt with mental illness, police say

Officers found five people dead, including three children, inside the Mossy Meadow Drive home.

HIGH POINT, N.C. — High Point police said a father killed his wife and three children before turning the gun on himself in a murder-suicide on Saturday. 

During an update on Monday, police identified some of the family members. They said 45-year-old Robert Crayton, Jr. shot and killed his wife Athalia, 46, and three of his children - 18-year-old Kasin and his 16-year-old and 10-year-old. The two youngest victims haven't been identified because of their ages. 

Neighbors on Mossy Meadow Drive called 911 after two other people in the home, ages 22 and 25, came running outside, calling for help. Police said one of the adults is directly related to the family and the other, is an acquaintance. 

This wasn't the first time officers had responded to the home. Police said they've been called to the home five other times since 2014. The most recent was on January 3, 2022, when officers served an involuntary mental commitment order. 

Police said since the investigation, they've learned Robert dealt with mental illness, but they don't know what ultimately led to him killing his family. 

"We have information from the family that he was suffering with some mental illness. We responded to the house in January of last year where he was served involuntary commitment. We are still looking into past involvement. I can’t speak to the exact reason," said Lt. Patrick Welch. 

Guilford County School officials released the following statement about the loss of the children in their school community. 

It is with deep regret that we inform you about the recent loss to our school community of an 18-year-old and a 16-year-old student who attended Ragsdale High School, as well as a 10-year-old student who attended Union Hill Elementary School. We are heartbroken and our thoughts are with the family. District crisis teams will be at both schools throughout the week, and the district stands by to assist the family in whatever ways they need. 

Investigators said extended family members are helping the two surviving adults. 

911 calls revealed more about the death of the High Point family. 

911 dispatcher: Do the people outside your house know who shot the people at 2734

Caller: The man is saying that it was his father.

911 dispatcher: do you know if he still has the gun?

Caller: He said that he’s sure he still has the gun he pulled a magazine out.

Caller: the woman is saying the man she is with is her boyfriend and she slept over at his house last night.

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