Update: 1:05 p.m. -

Neighbor Judy Barnes identified the two youngest Murphy children who died Tuesday morning as Noah, 7, and Sophia, 5. Police have not confirmed the names.

She said they called her "neighbor grandma," and she'd give them candy when they played outside. She was very emotional as she spoke.

"They were great. They were just kids," Barnes said. "I saw them the day before yesterday. They were playing in the yard with mom and dad."

Malik Murphy was the oldest of the family's five children.


Update: 11:43 a.m. -

According to to WXEF radio station in Effingham, Illinois, the Effingham County State's Attorney who worked on Malik Murphy's arson case there said the teen had severe mental health problems. When Murphy was released to his parents in April, it was on condition that he "take all prescribed meds," court records show.

Attorney Bryan Kibler said the local authorities agreed to drop charges against Murphy, who had no other criminal background, if the teen could prove he would undergo treatment,WXEF reported.

Kibler told WXEF that Murphy has had at least a dozen counseling sessions since the Effingham incident. He added that Murphy had agreed to re-enroll in school and was attending Pikes Peak Community College.


Update: 10:30 -

Malik Vincent Murphy had faced charges earlier this year on suspicion of setting his parents' vehicle on fire in Illinois and watching it burn, according to court records.

He reportedly set the family's white SUV on fire in a grassy area between Crackerbarrel Old Country Store and La Quinta Inn outside of Effingham, Illinois, on March 30. Witnesses reported seeing a person matching Murphy's description watching the fire from across the street.

Murphy was initially arrested on suspicion of arson and criminal damage to property, but charges were nollied in August, Effingham court records show.


Update: 9:15 a.m. -

The two children were students at Edison Elementary, a District 11 school less than a mile from the family's home, spokeswoman Devra Ashby said. No other information about them was immediately available.

Crisis counselors and administrative staff will be available at the school today, Ashby said.


Two young children were found dead in what police are calling an "extremely gruesome" crime scene at a home in central Colorado Springs.

Police responded to reports of a stabbing at the 900 block of Carlisle at 1:11 a.m. Tuesday. What they found was "horrific," Colorado Springs police Lt. Howard Black said to Gazette news partner KKTV.

Officers found three people with stab wounds in the home- a girl and a boy, just 5 and 7 years old, and a man. They all were transported to a hospital following desperate life-saving attempts by first responders at the home, but the two children died. The man is expected to fully recover.

Malik Vincent Murphy, 19, was arrested on suspicion of two counts of first-degree murder. Murphy is the son of the man stabbed and brother of the two dead children.

"I watched the first ambulance pull away with its lights on. The second turned its lights off, and that's when I knew someone died," said neighbor Stephanie Bellacicco. "It's terrible when anyone dies, much less a child. For lack of a better word, stabbing is a very intimate way to kill a child."

"Really sweet kids. I always saw them playing when I got home from work," said another neighbor, Gilbert Macias. "They have a basketball hoop, and are usually playing basketball. Now that it's fall, they were out there tossing the football."

The scene was traumatic for first responders.

"Any death is difficult that our officers, fire department crews deal with, but when you're talking about two young children, it's hard to put into words. It's very, very difficult for our staff," Black said to KKTV.

Police said they are not looking for anybody else in connection with the crime. They said they expect to be processing the scene until late morning or early afternoon.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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