"My dad just killed my mom. He just told me to call you guys." That was the chilling message a 13-year-old boy gave to an Ohio 911 dispatcher Sunday morning.
In the moments before that heartbreaking call, police say Jeremy Roberts allegedly stabbed and killed his ex-wife Candice when she arrived at his apartment building to pick up their two kids.
"He just ran out and killed my mom," the kid continued. "And she's laying in the grass in front of our apartment." He then pleaded, "Please guys, don't do anything to him in front of me, please."
You don't have to be a parent to feel the pain and anguish in that child's words. Clearly traumatized, it seemed as though he couldn't bear the thought of losing another parent, even one who may have done something so heinous.
Though what is more unsettling than this particular call is the fact that this case is not unique. In fact, one parent killing the other is so common there is a name for it -- Uxoricide. A study by the University of Virgina School of Nursing revealed that in 65 percent of these cases, children were home during the homicide and as many as 43 percent actually witnessed the violence.
Nationwide, over 4,000 kids are affected by Uxoricide a year but experts found few resources dedicated to helping these children get therapy or counseling services. The reason that's so important? The kids often grow up to repeat that cycle of violence in their own homes.
It's sad to think what will happen to this boy and his sibling in days and months to follow. And I don't mean simply where they will live. The study also found that in most instances kids will go live with a grandparent. The bigger adjustment is an emotional one. They will bury their mother and somehow try to come to terms with the fact that their father killed her. It's a reality too horrible for any child to face.
Have you heard of cases like this before?
Image via Zitona/Flickr