Police reports don’t explain why Syracuse mom shot daughters, self
Police • Deaths of Kyler Ramsdell-Oliva and daughters were ruled murder-suicide.
Published: March 20, 2014 08:02AM
Updated: March 19, 2014 09:44PM
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Kyler Ann Ramsdell-Oliva, 13 -year-old Kenadee Oliva, and 7-year-old Isabella Oliva.

The reason a Syracuse mom shot and killed her two daughters before taking her own life in January may never be publicly known.

Though newly released Syracuse police reports give more details about Kyler Ann Ramsdell-Oliva’s erratic behavior and falling-out with her former fiancé in the days before the shooting, they stop short of explaining why the 32-year-old woman shot her daughters, Kenadee Oliva, 13, and Isabella Oliva, 7, on Jan. 14, before turning the gun on herself.

Ramsdell-Oliva and her fiancé, Michael Johnson, had fought the day before the shooting, according to the police reports, and Johnson told the woman that he felt it would be best if he moved back to his home in Layton.

Their argument centered largely on howJohnson was rearing his sons and Ramsdell-Oliva’s relationship with the boys, according to police reports.

“Michael advised me that the tension between Kyler and his boys was too much,” a police investigator wrote. “And he only had a short time left with them before they went off to school and off on their own. ... He couldn’t handle the rules that Kyler was putting down in regards to his boys and felt that she was ruining his relationship with them.”

Johnson told police that several days before the shooting, he again argued with Ramsdell-Oliva about his boys. At one point, she snapped, he told police.

“[Ramsdell-Oliva] started screaming at him,” the report reads. “Pulling her hair and acting crazy. ... Michael referenced this incident to a small child throwing a temper tantrum.”

Johnson also told police that his ex-fiancé had attempted to commit suicide several times, but she usually was able to get help and get her medication adjusted before she seriously harmed herself. The man told police that Ramsdell-Oliva once told him that if she ever were to commit suicide, she would get a gun and kill her daughters, then kill herself.

On Jan. 14, Johnson and several family members and friends had been in and out of the Syracuse home to move his possessions. But throughout the day, Ramsdell-Oliva remained in her bedroom, with her door locked. Johnson told police that he knocked on her bedroom door several times, but was never able to contact her.

That evening, Johnson drove by the home and “felt something was wrong” because no lights were on and Ramsdell-Oliva’s car hadn’t been moved all day, according to the reports.

Johnson’s brother and Ramsdell-Oliva’s sister eventually went to check on the family, and after picking the lock on the bedroom door, discovered the bodies and called 911.

The two girls were found lying on the bed with gunshot wounds to the chest. Ramsdell-Oliva was found face-down on the floor, according to police reports.

Police eventually found a suicide note on a kitchen counter, addressed to Ramsdell-Oliva’s sister.

“Inside the note, it described why Kyler shot the two juvenile females and took her own life,” according to the report, which does not detail what the reason was.

Syracuse police authorities have said Johnson, Ramsdell-Oliva and the girls had moved into the home within the three months before the shooting episode.

The night before the shooting, officers went by the home to supervise an exchange of property between Ramsdell-Oliva and her ex-fiancé. But other than that, police had no reports of problems at the address.

The ex-fiancé was questioned, along with other family members and friends, but was cleared of any involvement in the slayings.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller