The suspect had wounds consistent with a struggle, indicating Nicole Zent fought for her life and those of her children

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Sarah Zent and her three kids Carter Mathew Zent, 5; Ashton Duwayne Zent, 3; and 2-year-old Aubree Christine Zent
Sarah Zent and her three kids: Carter Mathew Zent, 5; Ashton Duwayne Zent, 3; and 2-year-old Aubree Christine Zent
| Credit: Gofundme

Police in Indiana have identified the four victims who were found murdered Wednesday morning inside a Fort Wayne residence.

According to an arrest affidavit obtained by PEOPLE, the body of 26-year-old Nicole Zent was found kneeling next to a bed where police discovered the bodies of her three children: Carter Mathew Zent, 5; Ashton Duwayne Zent, 3; and Aubree Christine Zent, 2.

The children were found face down on the bed.

The affidavit alleges Cohen Bennett Hancz-Barron, 21, strangled Zent and stabbed her numerous times. Her children each died from multiple stab wounds.

Hancz-Barron was arrested hours after fleeing the home in a black truck.

Police arrested him at an apartment complex in Lafayette.

He was found with wounds to his jaw, neck and wrist, indicating Zent fought for her life and those of her children.

The affidavit identifies the suspect as Zent's boyfriend, but doesn't mention a possible motive for the killings.

Shortly before the killings, Hancz-Barron allegedly visited his mother's residence, claiming he had been shot in the stomach. He requested money and duct tape from her, the affidavit alleges. She was scared and told him to leave immediately, the affidavit says.

Investigators allege Hancz-Barron escaped home detention on April 20 before eventually committing the killings.

Hancz-Barron had been sentenced to six years in the Indiana Department of Corrections in February after being convicted of robbery. A judge permitted him to serve that time in home detention.

Hancz-Barron does not have an attorney of record, and has yet to enter pleas to the four preliminary counts of murder he faces.

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At a vigil held for the victims Thursday evening, Zent's sister, Cortney Spiceer, told WANE that Nicole "cared about anyone and everybody," and that she loved her children dearly.

The grieving aunt described Carter as "rambunctious ... always running around laughing, always getting into trouble."

Ashton, she said, was the shy one. "He kept you on your toes," she said.

She remembered Aubree as "very independent" and the "perfect child" who "never cried."

A GoFundMe campaign has been established to cover the funeral costs for the mother and children.