The deaths of three family members in St. Walburg, Sask., were confirmed as a double-homicide and suicide, RCMP say.

In a statement released Friday, police said the deaths of Hayley Wourms, 23, and Cayden Wourms, 2, were being classified as homicides, and the death of Darren Wourms, 26, was a suicide.

They said their investigation found all three died from shots fired by a rifle, found at the scene. The family, who had recently bought a house in Airdrie, Alberta, a bedroom community north of Calgary, was found Monday beside a rural road near St. Walburg, the Saskatchewan town where Darren Wourms grew up.

'He was overwhelmed.' —Shirley Wourms

While the RCMP said the family was requesting privacy, the mother of Darren Wourms spoke to CBC News about her son, and the events in his life that she said may have played a role in the tragedy.

Shirley Wourms said she believed her son was experiencing stress from a work schedule that involved being away from home for two weeks at a time.

She said he told her that he did not want to continue doing that and that the job was affecting his sleep.

"He was overwhelmed," Wourms told CBC News Friday. "It was going up north to Fort McMurray that really brought this on."

She said he was planning to quit work with the energy company he was with.

"He was very good at his job," she added. "Any job he did he was very very good. He was a smart boy, he learned quickly and they just kept promoting him and I guess it just got to be too much for him."

Not told of hospital treatment

She also said her son did not tell the family that he had been in hospital for a psychiatric evaluation following an incident in April.

"We were kept in the dark," she said. "We didn't know that he went into hospital in Airdrie. And if I'd have known, we maybe could have helped a little more. We'd have watched him closer when he came home to visit."

Wourms said her son was a smart young man who "loved his family very, very much."

She also shared a special memory from the Christmas holidays when Darren, Hayley, and another son and his fiancée gave her bedroom a make-over.

"They painted it, they put brand new curtains in and they gave me new bedding and I came home from work, I wasn't supposed to go in the room but we were going somewhere, and there was candles that were smelling so good and the room was beautiful, beautiful, the work they'd done," she said. "I was overwhelmed and everybody was laughing and happy."

Details on a funeral for Darren were not immediately available, however a funeral for Hayley and Cayden was set for Saturday.

Hayley Wourms grew up in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan.

St. Walburg is about 240 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.

 

With files from CBC's Alix Stoicheff