In a heartbreaking comment on Facebook, responding to a news article about her sons’ death, mother Tracy Stark clarified the custody arrangement.
“I will clear one thing up: this monster didn’t have primary care!” she wrote of the boys’ father. “He was given one school year with these boys so they could play hockey in Spruce Grove.
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“I raised these babies with my husband Brent in Whitecourt their entire lives,” Stark added.
“He had four months with them and he took them away.”
READ MORE: 3 people found dead in Spruce Grove house, 2 were children
On Monday morning, the bodies of 11-year-old Radek MacDougall and 13-year-old Ryder MacDougall were found inside a home in Spruce Grove. The body of their father, 39-year-old Corry MacDougall, was also found in the home.
On Tuesday, RCMP confirmed the deaths as a double murder and suicide.
Insp. Gibson Glavin wouldn’t comment on how the boys died.
“The adult was responsible, criminally responsible, for the deaths of the two boys,” he said Wednesday.
“After we’ve had an opportunity to collect what evidence is available where the event happened and talk to the people who can tell us anything they know about what happened and get the reports from the medical examiner, we turn now to looking back. Was there anything that indicated that something could have been happening to prevent this that police could have been a part of, should have been a part of?”
Court documents show that for years, the couple argued over custody, visitation, child support and treatment of the children.
Glavin said the RCMP investigation is not closed by any means.
“It’s not open because we don’t know what occurred; it’s open because we want to understand what occurred better.”
He said it was a “very tough” scene for investigators, but added it is their professional duty to work the case and provide answers for the family and community.
READ MORE: ‘Beautiful souls’: Stepfather of 2 boys found dead in Spruce Grove home speaks out
Brent Stark, the boys’ stepfather, described them as young, determined, “beautiful souls” who were enthusiastic hockey players and dedicated to their family, sports and their education.
The boys played with the Spruce Grove Minor Hockey Association, whose president posted a statement online calling the deaths an “unimaginable tragedy.”
They were both students at the nearby Greystone Centennial Middle School, Parkland School Division No. 70 confirmed. Ryder was in Grade 8; Radek was in Grade 6.
READ MORE: Family of boys found murdered west of Edmonton speak at vigil: ‘never forget them’
Brent and Tracy Stark spoke at the end of a vigil in Whitecourt Tuesday night.
“I know Ryder and Radek are looking down and I just, I just don’t know what to say,” Tracy said. “I know they’re going to give you strength to get through this, as they do me and everybody else.
“I just thank you for being here and supporting and loving us. Just never forget them I guess.”
Watch below: Family of the two boys killed in a Spruce Grove home speak at a vigil in Whitecourt.
With files from Karen Bartko and Phil Heidenreich, Global News