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The lesbian couple found murdered with their throats slashed alongside their two children in upstate New York have been identified.
Shanta Myers, 36, and her 22-year-old girlfriend Brandi Mells were found dead inside the apartment where they had been living in Troy, just outside Albany, on Tuesday.
The bodies of Myers' two children - five-year-old Shanise Myers and 11-year-old Jeremiah Myers - were also discovered inside the home.
Myers has a third son who wasn't at the home when the murders took place.
Shanta Myers, 36, and her 22-year-old girlfriend Brandi Mells were found dead inside an apartment in Troy in upstate New York on Tuesday
The bodies of Myers' two children - five-year-old Shanise Myers and 11-year-old Jeremiah Myers were also discovered inside the home
The victims were identified by the Troy Police Department on Thursday.
Law enforcement sources told the Albany Times Union that victims had been found bound and with their throats slashed.
Police Chief James Tedesco, who said no further details about their grisly murders would be released just yet, described the slayings as an act of 'savagery.'
'After being in this business for almost 42 years, I can't describe the savagery of this. I don't have the word,' he said on Wednesday.
Tedesco said there was evidence it was not a random act. He would not reveal if any weapons were recovered from the crime scene or whether there was forced entry.
The family were found dead inside the basement apartment in the Lansingburgh section of Troy at about 12.50pm on Tuesday - but police haven't given clear details as to how they were killed, or why.
A property manager found the bodies after being asked by family to check on the welfare of the residents.
Shanta Myers, 36, and her two children Shanise, 5, and Jeremiah, 11, were found dead inside an apartment in Troy, New York on Tuesday
The family were found bound and with their throats slashed inside an apartment in Troy on Tuesday afternoon
'The emotions of a police officer is something you repress because there is a job to be done,' Tedesco said.
'But no one involved in this case is ever going to forget it. Right now our job is to bring this person to justice.'
The unit where the bodies were found is one of five in a home located in a residential neighborhood along the Hudson River's east bank, just north of Albany.
Troy Police sources said the family, identified as two young siblings, their mother and the woman's lesbian partner, appear to have been targeted for an unknown reason
Pastor Jackie Robinson Sr, of Oak Grove Baptist Church, said that Myers' older son wasn't home when the killings occurred. He is thought to be the last surviving member of the family.
'Until they catch whoever they did this, there are certainly reasons to be fearful,' the pastor told the Times Union.
'We don't know who did it. Until we find out, it certainly makes sense to be vigilant and keep your doors locked.'
He also said that members of the clergy are speaking to children at the local Boys and Girls Club where Jeremiah was a member.
'A few had nightmares since this happened. A lot of grown folk are traumatized because this monster is still out there,' he said.
Myers has been described by friends as a hardworking mother who was devoted to her children.
'She was just a very sweet, sweet girl,' Equasia Watson told the New York Post.
'I knew her from when she moved here from down South,' she said.
'My son played with her son. We had dinners together. She took her kids to school. She went to work. She got her kids from school. She was always with them kids - she was a great mother.'
Myers is believed to have moved to Troy from South Carolina in 2011.
She used to work at Troy's Joseph's House homeless shelter.
The bodies were discovered by a property manager in a basement apartment on Tuesday after being asked to check on the welfare of the family