A Mom's Anguished Cry: 'My Twin Daughters Are Dead'

Joann Hoyt's ex-boyfriend accused of fatally shooting her 15-year-old girls in their Calif. home
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2020 7:30 AM CDT
Cops: Mom's Ex-Boyfriend Fatally Shoots Her Twin Girls
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/MattGush)

Teen twins gunned down this week are being mourned in their California community, and their mother's ex-boyfriend has been arrested and charged in their deaths. Caira and Leah Christopher—15-year-old sophomores at Helix Charter High School in La Mesa, described by a relative as "always smiling and always happy," per the San Diego Union-Tribune—were killed in their Lemon Grove residence during a domestic violence incident, cops say. Per KGTV, San Diego County Sheriff's deputies were called to the home before noon Wednesday, where they found an anguished Joann Hoyt outside. "My twin daughters, who are 15, are dead in the house," she told them. The deceased girls were found inside the home. Police say they located Dwayne Edward Groves Jr., 38, nearby around 2:30pm. He's been charged with murder, attempted murder, and assault with a deadly weapon.

Hoyt told OnScene.TV that she and Groves had split a week or so earlier, but that she'd agreed to let him stop by on Easter, as he's the father of her younger kids. "Then today he said he figured it all out," she said. "He finally knows what he needs to do. And he showed up at the house and shot my back window out." Hoyt added one of the twins tried to close the door on Groves, but he kicked it open and shot the girl in the head, then "went after my other three older kids." Her son, in his early 20s, was also shot but survived, with non-life-threatening injuries, a sheriff's department rep says, per CSN. A GoFundMe has been set up for the twins' family to help pay for funeral expenses. Groves—who has a lengthy rap sheet, with records showing felony arrests for carrying a loaded firearm and being a felon with a firearm, among others—is being held without bail until his arraignment on May 1. (More murder stories.)

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