CLEARWATER, Fla. - To paint a picture of the future Dawn Brown wanted for her kids, her family uses a 2010 graduation photo from St. Pete College. She hoped to teach someday, and give Zander, 9, and Zayden, 5, a life free from the poverty and financial struggle of their past.
That future came to a violent end over the past weekend, however, when deputies believe Dawn killed her sons before hanging herself.
Her husband, Murphy, returned home to find their children in bed, wearing pajamas, not breathing.
"He's still in pain. We're all in pain," said Murphy's dad, Byron Brown. "I can't put into words just how I feel."
Byron admits his daughter-in-law recently slipped into a deep depression.
She faced welfare fraud charges for not notifying the government of her husband's new job as a bus driver for Pinellas County Schools. Dawn faced a pre-trial hearing on October 1.
Her mother, one of her main supporters, left last week for Michigan.
Then the house, in foreclosure, had the electricity turned off the day before she made the fatal decision.
"[She probably felt] she would be better off and they'd be better off in a different place," Byron said. "We'll never know what she was thinking, but I can only imagine the pain that she was feeling."
Murphy, who tells ABC Action News he is not ready to speak publicly on camera just yet, is having trouble finding the funds to pay for his family's funeral.
"He's found out too that the love he has for Dawn, the love he had for his children, will be his strength that will take him on," said his stepmother, Vernita. "We're asking for prayer."
To donate toward funeral expenses, visit http://www.giveforward.com/zanderandzayden .
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Hillsborough County officials released a 25-page report Wednesday detailing the efforts they went through to save Jeff Bush's life after he was swallowed up by in sinkhole while asleep in his Seffner home.