After more than a week of searching and hoping, members of a tiny central Ohio town began grieving as they learned that the bodies of a missing mother, her 11-year-old son and a family friend were found stuffed into garbage bags and hidden in a hollow tree.
The discovery came Thursday, four days after authorities found the mother's 13-year-old daughter bound and gagged, but alive, in the basement of a home about a 15-mile drive from the wildlife area where the bodies were discovered.
Hours later, a vigil that had been planned near the family's home to support search teams became, instead, a memorial.
Rita Bates, 60, who lives nearby, asked the question on the minds of many: "Why?"
Authorities couldn't provide the answer amid an ongoing investigation.