Heartbroken and baffled.

That's how friends and relatives of a Mississippi family described themselves the day authorities said they'd found the bodies of Atira Hill, Laterry Smith and Jaidon Hill, 7. The mother, stepfather and boy vanished last week. "We went to bed last night still praying they would be brought home safely, but unfortunately, that did not happen," said Vinson Jenkins, Hill's cousin. "To my knowledge, we don't know why anybody would want to do any harm to them."

Authorities don't know why yet either. When the family first disappeared, they hoped they had a simple missing persons case on their hands. The family was last seen Friday in a car. An investigation kicked into gear when that vehicle was later found flipped and on fire. Bloody clothes belonging to the victims were discovered next in a gas station Dumpster. And then the bodies were located. They were found overnight in a wooded area, Copiah County Sheriff Harold Jones said Tuesday. They had been shot to death.