Forty-year-old Dawn Ward was known to be close to her family— so close, in fact, that she and her 14-year-old daughter, Taylor Carroll, lived next door to Ward's mother.
So when her family hadn't heard from her on November 28th, they knew something wasn't right. And when, according to WNCT, Ward's mother noticed that her daughter's mobile home had a broken window, her worries grew.
A missing persons report was filed, and three days later, Ward and Carroll's bodies were discovered beneath 30 feet of water, at the bottom of a residential well.
While the tragic deaths have horrified Ward's family, there are two family members, according to The Daily Beast, who may not share the same sense of shock.
Ward's estranged husband, 25-year-old Jeffrey Ward, and his brother, 24-year-old Jerrett, have been arrested in connection to Ward and Carroll's deaths. Alleged to have fled the scene, the pair was picked up in Meridian, Mississippi— nearly 800 miles from where the bodies were discovered.
Jeffrey has been charged with two counts of murder and is being held without bond. Jerrett, who lives on the same street as the well in which the bodies were found, has been charged with accessory after the fact. A motive has not yet been determined.
Though Ward and Jeffrey have been estranged for several years, they had not yet divorced. As The Daily Beast reports, Jeffrey had a history of violence, and Ward obtained a restraining order against the man in 2014. However, when it lapsed in 2015, she failed to renew it.
On Saturday, over a hundred community members gathered to celebrate the lives of Ward and Carroll. Ward, who was described by friends and family as an “amazing mother,” also leaves behind a son.