"Babe, I Just Shot the Kids": Henderson County Mother Arrested in Murders of 2 Daughters

Kaylee, 5, and Kenlie, 7
Kaylee, 5, and Kenlie, 7 GoFundMe
Jacob Henderson, crying uncontrollably, told 911 dispatchers that his wife shot her two daughters, 7-year-old Kaylee and her 5-year-old half-sister, Kenlie, in the head. They’d been sleeping in the living room.

"What did I do?" she can be heard saying in the background of the 911 call that the Henderson County Sheriff's Office released Friday.

Sarah Henderson, 29, was charged with one count of capital murder of a child under 10. A second count is pending. She is being held in the Henderson County Jail on $2 million bond. Her older son, who lives with his father, wasn't home at the time of the murders.

Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse told reporters that Sarah Henderson may have been planning the shooting for a couple of weeks. She also tried to shoot her husband, Hillhouse said, but the pistol misfired. Her husband disarmed her and called 911.

Hours earlier, 31-year-old Jacob Henderson called 911 to report that his wife was suicidal, according to the Henderson County Sheriff's Office.  Sarah Henderson's mother, Teresa Brown, told KXAS-TV (NBC 5) that her daughter had been having problems for a week, reaching out to friends and asking for help. Brown says her daughter has bipolar disorder.

Henderson County deputies knocked on the couple's mobile home door at 11:45 p.m. to check on their wellbeing. The deputies left shortly after without taking Sarah Henderson into custody.  Nearly three hours after the police left, Sarah Henderson killed her two children.

Hillhouse said that during an interview, Sarah Henderson showed no remorse and was "just matter-of-fact" as she confessed to the murders. Jacob Henderson told 911 dispatchers that he was sleeping when his wife came into the bedroom.

"She was asleep when I went to sleep last night," he said. "I woke up. She come in there and she goes, 'Babe, I just shot the kids.'"
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Christian McPhate is an award-winning journalist who specializes in investigative reporting. He covers crime, the environment, business, government and social justice. His work has appeared in several publications, including the Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Miami Herald, San Antonio Express News and The Washington Times.