Heartbreaking New Details About The Michigan Model Who Killed Her Husband And Two Children After Being Shunned By The Jehovah's Witnesses

Lauren Stuart
Buzz

Lauren Stuart also killed the family dog.

The Michigan mom who shot and killed her family before turning the gun on herself was reportedly struggling with emotional issues after being shunned by her Jehovah's Witnesses community. 

Lauren Stuart, 45, was found dead in her Keego Harbor home Feb. 16 along with her husband Daniel, 47, and two children, Steven, 27 and Bethany, 24. Their dog was also found dead in a bathtub. 

The police were called to the home after a family member expressed concern and asked them to do a welfare check. 

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According to Lauren's longtime friend Joyce Taylor, the family was struggling after being shunned by the Jehovah's Witnesses five years ago. She believes the murder-suicide is a direct result of the emotional distress they underwent for leaving the church. 

Taylor and other former Jehovah's Witnesses told the Detroit Free Press that when someone leaves the religion, a drastic shunning takes place. No one inside the religion — even family members and parents — are allowed to speak or interact with the departed again. 

The Daily Mail reported that Stuart's family members were still apart of the church.

The weekend following the murders, Taylor burst into the church's gathering. 

“Excuse me, everyone, my name is Joyce Taylor. Two days ago, four people died as a result of your shunning process," she said. "Five years ago you people pulled your support from this small family, the only support they had was you people. You turned them away and you shunned them."

Taylor said the reason the Stuarts left the church was because they wanted to sen their children to college, which the religion forbids. 

"For what?!!," she screamed. "Because they wanted to raise their children as they saw fit.”

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"They were shunned every way possible. If Lauren went to the grocery store, they didn't look her in the eye," said Taylor, who is a former Jehovah's Witness herself. "When you are raised a Jehovah's Witness, they choose your friends. They choose who you associate with. And if you go against that, they will dis-fellowship you, or shun you."

Taylor believed Lauren, who was a model and personal trainer at the YMCA, was dealing with personal issues after being ostracized. And, sadly enough, this wasn't the first murder-suicide related to the church. 

In 2001, Christian Longo murdered his wife and three young children in Oregon after being thrown out of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Police said financial troubles led him to be shunned which then triggered the killings. 

And in 2014, a family of four was found dead in South Carolina. The father shot them all in the head before pulling the trigger on himself. He was a devout Jehovah's Witness. 

The church has not commented on the Stuarts' deaths and police said they're aware of the shunning, but refuse to comment on it. Lauren reportedly left behind a suicide note, but the details are not yet available. 

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Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, true crime, dating, relationships and everything in between. Every Wednesday at 7:20 p.m. you can ask her any and all questions about self-love, dating, and relationships LIVE on YourTango’s Facebook page. You can follow her on Instagram (@blackw00d) and Twitter (@emztweetz). 

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