Mom Kills Son & Herself in Tragedy Sister Says Was Avoidable

A 46-year-old mother killed her 15-year-old son, set their home on fire, and then killed herself. And the tragedy was "preventable," says the teen's older sister, Katie Gilliland. Reportedly, Carla (C.J.) Gilliland was distraught over a breakup and had been "depressed," according to a neighbor. She had reportedly already threatened 15-year-old Parker's life. Katie says that Parker was "afraid" to live in the home, and yet police and child protection services refused to take him out of it.


Katie wrote on the GoFundMe page set up for her brother's funeral expenses:

I would like everyone to know. That the system failed. It failed me. And it most certainly failed my baby brother. CPS and the sheriffs department were aware that park was afraid for his life to be in that house ... Yet they made him go back. For the sheriff who told me that this wouldn't happen. I can only hope you and other people can learn from this. And know that anything can happen. My heart is in pieces this morning as I realize I lost my brother to something that was preventable. And the loss of my mother.

Carla and Parker were found shot to death inside their burning home in Ellettsville, Indiana. Police have ruled Parker's death a homicide and Carla's a suicide.

It's unclear exactly what was making Carla so despondent that would take such horrific measures, but a neighbor told WTHR:

She's just been sad lately, depressed. Some issues that she didn't share.

Reportedly, Carla had recently suffered some kind of breakup.

Parker had reportedly called police due to threats his mother had made against his life, but they apparently did not intervene. Police said they simply could not legally take Parker from his mother. But Katie wrote on her Facebook page:

You talk about these parameters you have to follow. But when a teenage boy tells a [S]heriff that his mom has a gun and wants to shoot him, your [sic] telling me it's in the [C]onstitution to make him stay with her. False. I am embarrassed to live in a place that feels that way. And for the officer who looked me in the eye and told me that he would be fine going home, and it's not likely that would happen. I pray you don't have to go through this. And not right now. But something will be done about this. So you better start gathering all the excuses you need.

What an incredibly heartbreaking situation. Parker was obviously in fear for his life -- and he was right to be. But police also have to follow the law and perhaps they didn't have enough evidence to take him. Police are not psychics. Though in this case it obviously would have been better to err on the side of caution. Certainly, police have erred on the side of caution when it comes to kids making threats against schools -- why not now?

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The pain Katie must be feeling is unbearable. Why would a mother do this to her child? Unfathomable.

Do you think the police could have done more?

Image via GoFundMe

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