The divorced husband and father of the two boys found dead with their mother on Thursday, 45 year-old Daniel Joel Rashley, had just been released from the St Johns County Jail; less than two weeks before his children were killed.
Rashley’s last known address was the address shared with his family before they separated and moved to Loveland Place.
As reported by Historic City News Thursday night, the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office is now confirming that Donna Gayle McCulloch, the 40 year-old mother of 8 year-old Daniel Joel Rashley, born April 26th, and his brother, 7 year-old William Benjamin Rashley, born December 10th, is believed to have shot and killed her two sons — then turned the handgun on herself.
In January of last year, Rashley was arrested on third degree felony charges that he engaged in an organized scheme to defraud; obtaining property of an aggregate value of less than $20,000. On August 24th, he was taken into custody again, according to jail records, and charged with violation of probation. He was released February 10, 2012.
The murders were discovered by McCulloch’s parents; who, according to Sheriff’s spokesman Kevin Kelshaw, have been “inundated throughout the day by different members of the media seeking comment for this horrific act”.
Neighbors and friends have begun to memorialize the children’s senseless murder by leaving flowers and cards at the last place they called “home” — 504 Loveland Place in the Julington Creek Plantation.
The District 23 Medical Examiner is awaiting toxicology results to conclude his investigation, however, in a preliminary statement released after autopsy examinations of the remains, said the manner of death of all three bodies is homicide and the apparent cause is gunshot.
At about the same time as Donna Gayle McCulloch was struggling through what has been described as a “difficult” divorce from Rashley, she suffered paralyzing injuries in a car wreck and was confined to a wheelchair. News reports say that she continued employment outside the home. Their two boys attended a local elementary school.