In front of the children

Christy East, 21, was a young mother of two. June 19 th, she lost every thing she had in a gas explosion that the destroyed the homes and displaced 6 families. She had temporarily moved in with an aunt while awaiting a new home. Luckily East and her children were away from the home at the time of the explosion.

About 1:30 pm last Sunday, police recieved a call from insiide the aunt’s home, about a man with a gun. Several people ran from the home when Jamiel Kyle, 30, entered. East and Kyle have a child together.

The SWAT team responded and spent about 2 hours trying to resolve the situation. But then there were shots. After several shots were heard, the team entered the home, and found East and Kyle in the bedroom, dead from gunshot wounds.

East’s older child was in the house at the time of the shooting, the younger child the couple shared was found by police in Kyle’s car in the sweltering heat.

On Thursday a memorial was held for Christy East and also to bring attention to two other recent murders in the area.

Jennifer McKenzie, 21, a mother of three children was killed last month by the father of the children. David Allen, 24, is still at large.

In February, Andrea Brown, 23, was stabbed to death. Her boyfriend Tierro J. Straight, 24, has been accused of the murder.

In each case there are similiarities. All were murdered. All were killed by a boyfriend or ex-boyfriend. And all were killed in front of their children.

Kyle had previously been charged with sexual assault, after he reportedly attacked a previous girlfriend. He recieved 1 year of probation after the victim requested that he get counseling instead of jail time.

Domestic violence workers were at the memorial, and there was a message they wanted to share. That the community needed to learn the signs of when a relationship was in danger of becoming violent.

If a relationship has several of these signs, then there is an increased possibility of violence.

Prior bad acts- may or may not involve violence towards women.

Extreme, excessive jealousy.

Quick to anger.

Uses force and/or intimidation as a means of control.

Control of money as a way of control.

In the links to the left I also have these links entitled Relationship Violence Early Warning Signs and Types, Signs and Symptoms that go over the warning signs.

If you know of a relationship with warning signs, you are encouraged to make contact with social workers, law enforcement or the court system for help in devising a way to intervene.


Not an Acceptable Divorce

Angel Esteves, 26, and his 21-year-old wife, Ingrid Corina Esteves have been married about 4 or 5 years. And police say that Ingrid Esteves was having an affair. They say she met 18-year-old Rafael Quiroz at her job in a warehouse.

Police believe that Ingrid E. and Quiroz planned the death of Angel Esteves. They believe that Ingrid E. somehow lured her husband to an isolated area late on Tues. night, and that Quiroz was waiting there and armed.

Police recieved a call about a burglary, and when they arrived they found Angel Esteves in a car with gunshot wounds to his upper body. Esteves was transported to a hospital where he later died.

No motive is known for the murder, but police believe it was planned. They also don’t believe it was the result of any argument. Police say they are investigating all possible motives including whether the husband had any life insurance. One district attorney has said this may be the couple’s way of getting a divorce.

Both Qiroz and Ingrid Esteves have been arrested and charged with murder. At their first court appearance on Friday, both pled not guilty to the charges. Both are being held on $1 million dollar bond.

The first thing that struck me was the couple was so young to have been married for 4-5 years. While it would have been legal for the them to have a relationship, this situation certainly presents an argument against teen marriage.

Couples do fall out of love, some even have affairs. Most often I see where the spurned spouse elects to kill the cheating spouse, so this one is a bit unusual.

At 26 years old, Esteves would likely have lived more than 50 more years. That is what was taken from him and his family. Had this marriage not been successful, he likely would have remarried perhaps happily.

As for Ingrid E. and Quiroz, had they taken the route of a divorce they could have had a continuing relationship. They may even have married, had children. Instead it is alleged they took what they may have thought was the easy way out. Instead of a relationship or a marriage, they will now have separate cells, if they are unable to come up with a $1 mil. bond. If convicted it will be separate prisons, and whatever relationship they may have will have to be conducted through letters.

At times like this I always think of the families. Angel Esteves’ family will be grieving and trying to notify relatives, plan a funeral or some type of service. They know they will never see their loved one again. They know he died of violence, and if the charges are true- he died as a result of betrayal, from the person who professed to love him and made a vow to love him till death parted them.

But there are also two other families out there in turmoil. At the ages of 18 and 21, their families would have had a lifetime of expectations of and for them. And just like with Esteves’ family, their expectations have been shattered. Likely the news came as a shock, and probably they are not believing these kids could be capable of this crime.

It will take time for it to go to trial, where the evidence against them can be heard. So though they know the “kids” are living, they will be in fear for them and the possibilities the future holds for them.

Three families, entering one of the worst years they have probably ever known.

As the children slept

An apartment dweller was woken from sleep before 4:11 am on Thursday morning. She heard what she said sounded like banging, then two booms and the sound of glass breaking. She called 911.

From the outside there was a broken window with blood dripping from it. Police made entry to the apartment and there found a 3 year old and a second grader alone in the apartment. And indications of violence in the home.

The apartment was rented by the children’s mother, 23 year old Angeline Combs. About 5 am they found Combs in an abandoned vehicle parked on a bridge. She had a gunshot wound to her head. Police began looking for her boyfriend.

The found Calvin Earl Reed at a relative’s home, with a vehicle owned by his uncle, arrested him and charged him with murder.

Police believe that Angeline Combs was shot in the apartment. Then for some unknown reason, they got into a vehicle or he put her into the vehicle and began driving. However, they believe they vehicle broke down at the spot where police located it. They believe that Reed at some point disposed of the gun, then got a ride from someone to where he picked up his uncle’s vehicle and then drove to another relative’s home where he was arrested.

Police are asking that if anyone locates the gun, that they be aware it has been involved in a murder and to turn it in. They also are looking for the individual who may have picked Reed up at the bridge, they say that person may not have been aware of the murder when they picked Reed up.

No motive has been mentioned for the murders. But really, what could Combs’ have done that was so horrendous that it could justify killing the mother of two children?

Two more children, motherless. Their future now up in the air, no mother there to support them in their grief over the loss of their mother. A second grader, probably able to grasp the concept of death. But too young to be able to grasp the finality, or the full effect it will likely have on it’s life. How does a three year old understand death? I remember a loss we suffered when my child was about that age. She could not grasp the fact that death was final and that our loved one could not come back to us and that she could not go to them.

Also I wonder, did the children sleep through all of the fight and the gun being discharged? Or did they waken, and when things got quiet drift back to sleep not realizing the importance of the noises they heard? They went off to bed that night, not given a chance to say a final goodbye, not knowing that when they woke- their home would be filled with strangers in uniform and their whole world would have changed.