Mom's final social media posts before killing herself and her four children in house fire

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By James Kay

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A former teacher of the year allegedly started a fire that resulted in the deaths of herself and her four young children after posting poignant messages on social media.

According to law enforcement officials, Bernadine "Birdie" Pruessner deliberately ignited the blaze that engulfed her family home.

As reported by the New York Post, the blaze tragically claimed the lives of Pruessner alongside twins Ellie and Ivy Pruessner, nine, five-year-old Jackson Spader, and two-year-old MIllie Spader.

The St. Louis County Police Department, after a thorough investigation, declared the incident a murder-suicide.

"It is believed that Bernadine intentionally set a mattress on fire as that was the point of origin for the fire," the police department confirmed, adding that a note was discovered, outlining Pruessner's intentions to end her own life and the lives of her children.

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Pruessner and her children. Credit: GoFundMe

The tragic events unfolded just hours after Pruessner's seemingly ordinary social media posts, shedding light on her cherished moments with her children. "All my kids, peacefully sleeping in my bed... Knowing they are loved so fiercely that I'd do absolutely anything for them," she wrote in one post.

Pruessner's online presence depicted a devoted mother, sharing joyful snapshots with her children and expressing gratitude for their presence in her life.

Sharing an image of herself alongside her children, the teacher wrote: "Us against the world. I’m so blessed to be their mama. They have a heart for the lord and have overcome so much more in their little lives than they should have had to face."

In a post that was published on February 18, Pruessner penned: "Making today one of those live each day like it’s your last kind of days! Breakfast, reptile show, soccer game, and living room camp out on the agenda plus whatever other shenanigans bring us joy. Happy Sunday. Thank God the sun is shining."

Reports revealed Pruessner's ongoing legal battles with both her ex-husband and former boyfriend, involving custody disputes and relocation plans. Nathan Cohen, Pruessner's lawyer, described the relentless challenges she faced.

A GoFundMe page set up to help the family outlined Pruessner's mindset at the time. It stated: "The family wants you to know that she got to that darkness as a result of spurious litigation and unfounded allegations by her ex-husband and her former boyfriend.

"When Birdie requested to relocate closer to her ex-husband's residence, as her younger children became school age, her ex-husband filed a motion to prevent relocation. Her boyfriend who had not even established legal rights to the children, joined her former husband to prevent relocation."

Speaking to the New York Post, Cohen said that Pruessner was facing financial difficulties and was struggling to keep up with the costs involved in the legal battles.

Despite this, Cohen was shocked at the tragedy that came next.

"This entire week I’ve been asking my staff, did I miss it? She was one of the rare clients you get in family law that is not only upbeat, but was not putting on a show," he said.

In a joint statement, Jared Spader and David Pruessner, the devastated fathers, vowed to focus on honoring the lives of their children, emphasizing the need for unity and healing amidst the profound grief, per KDSK.

Our thoughts are with all of those affected by this tragedy.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org

Featured image credit: GoFundMe

Mom's final social media posts before killing herself and her four children in house fire

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

A former teacher of the year allegedly started a fire that resulted in the deaths of herself and her four young children after posting poignant messages on social media.

According to law enforcement officials, Bernadine "Birdie" Pruessner deliberately ignited the blaze that engulfed her family home.

As reported by the New York Post, the blaze tragically claimed the lives of Pruessner alongside twins Ellie and Ivy Pruessner, nine, five-year-old Jackson Spader, and two-year-old MIllie Spader.

The St. Louis County Police Department, after a thorough investigation, declared the incident a murder-suicide.

"It is believed that Bernadine intentionally set a mattress on fire as that was the point of origin for the fire," the police department confirmed, adding that a note was discovered, outlining Pruessner's intentions to end her own life and the lives of her children.

size-full wp-image-1263250164
Pruessner and her children. Credit: GoFundMe

The tragic events unfolded just hours after Pruessner's seemingly ordinary social media posts, shedding light on her cherished moments with her children. "All my kids, peacefully sleeping in my bed... Knowing they are loved so fiercely that I'd do absolutely anything for them," she wrote in one post.

Pruessner's online presence depicted a devoted mother, sharing joyful snapshots with her children and expressing gratitude for their presence in her life.

Sharing an image of herself alongside her children, the teacher wrote: "Us against the world. I’m so blessed to be their mama. They have a heart for the lord and have overcome so much more in their little lives than they should have had to face."

In a post that was published on February 18, Pruessner penned: "Making today one of those live each day like it’s your last kind of days! Breakfast, reptile show, soccer game, and living room camp out on the agenda plus whatever other shenanigans bring us joy. Happy Sunday. Thank God the sun is shining."

Reports revealed Pruessner's ongoing legal battles with both her ex-husband and former boyfriend, involving custody disputes and relocation plans. Nathan Cohen, Pruessner's lawyer, described the relentless challenges she faced.

A GoFundMe page set up to help the family outlined Pruessner's mindset at the time. It stated: "The family wants you to know that she got to that darkness as a result of spurious litigation and unfounded allegations by her ex-husband and her former boyfriend.

"When Birdie requested to relocate closer to her ex-husband's residence, as her younger children became school age, her ex-husband filed a motion to prevent relocation. Her boyfriend who had not even established legal rights to the children, joined her former husband to prevent relocation."

Speaking to the New York Post, Cohen said that Pruessner was facing financial difficulties and was struggling to keep up with the costs involved in the legal battles.

Despite this, Cohen was shocked at the tragedy that came next.

"This entire week I’ve been asking my staff, did I miss it? She was one of the rare clients you get in family law that is not only upbeat, but was not putting on a show," he said.

In a joint statement, Jared Spader and David Pruessner, the devastated fathers, vowed to focus on honoring the lives of their children, emphasizing the need for unity and healing amidst the profound grief, per KDSK.

Our thoughts are with all of those affected by this tragedy.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org

Featured image credit: GoFundMe