Felicia Cassadean, a 22-year-old mother of two young children, was found dead in her home after it went up in flames -- and police are trying to figure out exactly how. At first they suspected she may have been burned alive, but now they say she was stabbed probably before her husband set fire to her bed -- with her in it. Her 49-year-old husband Loventino has been arrested and charged with her murder. It will take an autopsy and some serious questioning to find out exactly what happened.
First reports said the firefighters found a mattress blocking the door of the Cassadean home and a burned body in the entryway. Whatever happened, it's a sad ending for a young woman who was just trying to achieve the American dream and escape poverty.
Felicia's uncle, Anthony Ram, says, "She was trying to make the American Dream. It's tragic her life was cut short this way." When she became pregnant at 15 with her first child, Felicia was kicked out of her home and eventually found her way to a Catholic group home. There she finished high school and started college, studying pharmacology.
Things looked even brighter for her future when she married Loventino. She had another baby, continued working toward her degree, and had just gotten a job at Home Depot. But the family struggled with debts and Loventino reportedly had a temper.
It's horribly unfair. A young woman made a mistake in high school, but she fought to keep herself out of poverty. She did everything our culture tells women in her situation to do: Go to school, find a way to support yourself, even get married. We all know single moms get pressure to get married, right? So she did -- and this happened. Maybe Loventino, who once published a book of love poems, was incredibly seductive and charming. Maybe she brought problems into the marriage, too -- though nothing justifies her murder. But now two small children have lost their mother. It's a mercy they weren't at home at the time of the murder.
Do you think it's harder for women to escape poverty than men?
Image via CBS2 New York