A mother and three children killed Sunday in a Kearns neighborhood were laid to rest Tuesday in a quickly arranged funeral.
Just a handful of people, some stopping by for just a few minutes before leaving, attended the service for Sharon Al-Shimmary, 40, and her children Ashley, 9, Christopher, 7, and Heather, 2.
Family members say Al-Shimmary was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but her husband, Ahmed Al-Shimmary, from whom she was in the process of getting a divorce, was Muslim.
The Islamic religion calls for bodies to be buried immediately after death. Once the bodies were released by the Utah medical examiner, funerals for each were quickly arranged Tuesday.
Sharon Al-Shimmary was buried on the Christian side of the Redwood Memorial Cemetery, 6500 S. Redwood Road. Nearby, in the area designated for Muslim burials, the three children were laid to rest.
All the victims, including Sharon Al-Shimmary, were buried in cardboard boxes. Muslim culture calls for bodies to be buried modestly, often in either cardboard or pine boxes. The children were brought out one by one from a small building that appeared to be used as a Muslim church. Their coffins were raised high in the air as they were taken to their final resting spots.
At least one family member said some people were only given 30-minutes notice of the services.
On Sunday, the bodies of the mother and her children were found by firefighters in a bedroom in their Kearns home, which investigators said showed no sign of forced entry.
In the smoke-filled upstairs bedroom that had been scorched by flames, the door was locked from the inside. The bodies of the mother and one of the children were on the bed. The other two children's bodies were on the floor, where investigators say an accelerant was used to start the fire.
The causes of the deaths were not being released pending the results of toxicology tests. Detectives have said there were no signs of obvious trauma on the children. One of the remaining questions for detectives is if the children were dead before the room was set on fire.
Records kept by the Deseret Morning News show that if the Al Shimmary children's deaths are classified as homicides, they will be the 43rd, 44th and 45th in Utah this year. That is just one less than the total for all of last year in the state.In Salt Lake County, the trio of deaths would bring the total number of homicides to seven since Aug. 11.
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