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6 Children Killed; Mother in Custody

September 05, 1998| From Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Six children were found dead in their home after their 24-year-old mother called 911 to confess to killing them, police said Friday.

When paramedics and police got to the public housing apartment, they tried to revive the children, three girls and three boys, ages 5 to 11, but couldn't, Police Chief William Finney said.

Officers identified the woman as Khoua Her. She was in custody and was being treated at a hospital, but a nursing supervisor would not give her condition. Police had said she spoke of suicide in the 911 call Thursday night, and they believe that she had tried to kill herself.

Police identified the children as Kouaeai Hang, 11; Sampson Hang, 9; Nali Hang, 9; Tang Lung Hang, 7; Aee Hang, 6; and Tang Ke Hang, 5. All six were strangled, the medical examiner said.

On Friday, the beige stucco apartment was surrounded by crime scene tape while police investigated the slayings.

A social worker had been dealing with the family for some time, Finney said, but "there was never any indication the children were in this kind of danger."

Two neighbors who live in the public housing apartment complex said they had seen some of the children outside earlier Thursday.

Neighbors said Her was a Hmong immigrant who had been in the country for several years. Police said she was estranged from her husband, Kong Hang, who was not living with the family.

Hang, in an interview with KSTP-TV, said his wife had threatened him with a gun several times. But he said he never imagined that she would kill the children.

Finney acknowledged numerous police visits to the apartment on domestic violence calls.

Christopher Yang, 27, who lives next door, said Hang told him the two married at a young age in Laos before ending up in St. Paul, home to about 25,000 Hmong.

Marrying at a young age is common in the Hmong culture, said Yao Lo of the Lao Family Community of Minnesota Inc.

Mai Xiong, a friend of Her's new boyfriend, said the mother loved her children but regretted marrying so young. She told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis that the mother "was depressed over the amount of responsibility she had."

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