Tragic End for Florida Fire Lieutenant and Wife Leaves Community in Mourning, Four Children Orphaned

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — A Florida community is grappling with a profound tragedy that unfolded on June 13 when a respected fire department lieutenant and his wife were found dead in their home in what local authorities have determined to be a murder-suicide. This grim event left behind four young children, effectively orphaning them.

Weeks before the incident, Andrea Nicole Yarbrough, 34, posted on Facebook, sharing insights into the extensive number of emergency calls—over 3,200 in April alone—handled by the St. Johns County Fire Rescue. Her message hinted at the immense pressure faced by first responders, including her husband, Shawn Yarbrough, 46, who had served the fire department as a lieutenant since being promoted in 2004.

The statement shared by Andrea read, “This is why all of our significant others are exhausted and never functioning 100% at home,” suggesting struggles with stress and fatigue within their household.

On the tragic day, authorities discovered the couple in their house located in the Entrada subdivision. Investigations by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office concluded that while Shawn’s death was by suicide, Andrea was a victim of homicide. It was noted that their children were not at home during this catastrophic incident.

Public records and social media painted a picture of the Yarbroughs as an active, involved couple who took great joy in family outings and vacations. Pictures and posts depicted a seemingly enjoyable life filled with regular family activities, such as attending baseball games and going on trips to Texas and North Carolina.

Their recent social media activity offered no visible signs of distress or turbulence, which made the news of their deaths even more shocking to those who knew them. Neighbors described the family as typical and pleasant, expressing disbelief and noting that they hadn’t witnessed any indications of domestic problems.

In a heartfelt statement, Shawn’s fire chief expressed the department’s deep sadness and the lasting impact the loss would have on everyone, particularly the children. “We are profoundly saddened by the loss of life, and our hearts go out to the families and children affected,” he remarked, reflecting the sentiment of the fire department community.

Family members mourned the loss of Andrea, remembering her as a devoted mother and resilient individual. “Andrea meant the world to everyone in our family and to anyone who knew her. She never gave up, no matter how hard things got,” said Olivia Marvin, Andrea’s younger sister.

In memory of Andrea, relatives have set up a fund to support her 11-year-old daughter, Lily, helping to provide for her future in the wake of this tragedy.

The St. Johns community, while trying to comprehend this devastating event, continues to rally around the orphaned children, hoping to preserve a semblance of normalcy and provide them with support during such a difficult time. The incident serves as a poignant reminder of the often-hidden struggles that can exist behind a facade of normal family life.