SANDUSKY, Ohio -- A memorial continues to grow outside a small gray house on John Street in Sandusky.
Inside, police said Curtis Clinton, 41, took the life of Heather Jackson, 23, and her 3-year-old girl and 18-month-old boy over the weekend.
Monday, Clinton was charged with three counts of aggravated murder after police said he strangled the three of them inside the home.
Next-door neighbor Leah Howman said that Jackson and her kids had just moved in a little over a week ago.
"It's hard because we were in the driveway Saturday and we didn't hear anything. We didn't hear anything all night or day. And it's hard to think that it was so quiet and that three lives were taken next door but nobody heard a thing," said Howman.
It was that silence that prompted a family friend to call police Saturday to check on her.
"Nobody’s heard from her for a while," the caller said.
"We just checked on her not that long ago," a dispatcher responded.
"Okay, I walked in the back door because I thought I heard someone say ‘come in’ but maybe it was the TV, and there’s a body under the (expletive) mattress!" the caller exclaimed.
Upon arrival, Sandusky Police discovered an unthinkable scene: Heather Jackson's body was underneath a mattress, her two children's bodies were in a closet.
"We would see her kids running in the driveway while my kid was running in the yard. It's hard to think that someone would take their lives like that," said Howman.
The lives of 18 month-old Wayne and 3-year-old Celina, and a young mother that friends said was getting back on her feet.
"Heather came in here almost every day," said Carissa Gil, who works at the BP down the street. "She was a nice person. Kind. Always bouncy, at least as I knew her. I never suspected her to be in any trouble."
"You never think something like that would happen, and then it does and you are just in shock. Don't ever think it is going to happen next door to you," added Howman.