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FDLE report suggests motive behind Bell murder-suicide

FDLE report suggests motive behind Bell murder-suicide
Kylie Kuhlmann, 9, Kaleb Kuhlmann, 11, Johnathon Kuhlmann, 8, Destiny Stewart, 5, Alanna Stewart, 2 months, Brandon Stewart, 4, and Sarah Spirit were killed by Don Spirit.

GILCHRIST COUNTY, Fla. -- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has released its final investigative report into the tragic murder-suicide that rocked the small town of Bell last year.

Donald Spirit, 51, murdered his daughter, Sarah Spirit, 28, and her six children before taking his own life during the afternoon hours of Sept. 18, 2014 at the family's home.

The report marks the first time police investigators have offered an in-depth explanation for Spirit's motive for the gruesome crimes.

It states that people who knew him believed he did not have the right state of mind. It also explains that some of his violent rage was directed at a woman named Collene Stewart, who is the great aunt to three of the young victims.

Stewart was at Spirit's trailer the day before the massacre and reportedly overheard him tell his daughter "her kids were not worth a s****, tell someone to come get them because I don't love them, I hate them."

The report states Spirit later apologized and explained he was "stressed out" because Sarah was unemployed and taking money for sexual acts with a Hispanic man named "Jose" from Trenton.

According to investigators, Sarah only knew the man for two days and was provided $25.00 on Sept. 16, 2014 and $70.00 on Sept. 17, 2014. Spirit was reportedly supposed to receive some of the money.

The report states he believed Stewart turned his daughter into "a prostitute" and that the "kids were not going to live this kind of life."

On the day of the shootings, Spirit called 911 at 4:00 p.m. and told dispatchers, "I just shot my daughter and shot all my grandkids. I'll be sitting on my steps. When you get here, I'm going to shoot myself."

Nine minutes later, the first units from the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office arrived and found Spirit pacing outside the family home unarmed with what appeared to be a jug of water.

The report states multiple times that deputies were familiar with the residence and the Spirits from prior domestic violence issues and criminal history, including a time in which they were caught growing marijuana.

Deputies reported that Spirit told them, "I'm not mad at you. I'm mad at the Stewarts. Collene Stewart has turned Sarah into a whore and drugs and I'm fed up with this whole family. The Stewart family. They've ruined my family. They've ruined my life and I'm just tired of 'em all... and I've taken care of it today!"

That is when Spirit was observed returning from the back of the trailer with a semi-automatic weapon in which he used to end his own life by shooting himself in the head.

The report indicates that video and audio of the suicide was captured on dash cam footage as additional law enforcement personnel began to arrive to assist with the investigation.

Deputies discovered Sarah's body outside partially underneath a tarp. The report states that in addition to being shot in the head, she was stabbed six times and suffered blunt force trauma from being pistol whipped.

The bodies of the children were found at different locations inside the home. Autopsy results show the youngest child died from a gunshot wound to the torso while the five older ones died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Their names are as follows: Kaleb Kuhlmann, 11, Kylie Kuhlmann, 9, Johnathan Kuhlmann, 8, Destiny Stewart, 5, Brandon Stewart, 4, and Alanna Stewart, 3 months.

Spirit's ex-wife indicated to investigators that she believed he was bi-polar and possibly under the influence of illegal drugs.

The report also makes mention that Spirit had been smoking "spice" and had gone off his medication for a month or two.