“There’s no more emergency”

“There’s no more emergency, but there’s two dead people” the voice at the other end of the 911 call responded to the dispatcher when she answered the call Fri. and asked what the emergency was. Reportedly the man was calm and polite as he answered the dispatchers questions, and he called her ma’am several times.

He told her about strangling his wife and her son on Wednesday. He told the dispatcher their names and ages. He said they would find the bodies of Betty Mitchell, 48, and Tommy Mitchell, 10, in a rundown motel where they had resided in one room. He told her that his name was Fred Kevin Mitchell, 48, and he told her where officers could find him. Then he said “This is all you’re gonna hear from me.”

Police who responded to the motel, found the bodies of Betty and Tommy Mitchell. And law enforcement who responded to the site where Mitchell said they would find him, found him dead apparently from a self inflicted hanging.

Family and the police spokesman has said the relationship was abusive. Family has said that “She couldn’t, or wouldn’t, get out of it,” “We expected something like this to happen, but I didn’t think he was capable of doing that to Tommy.”

According to friends, family and neighbors there were problems. Betty Mitchell had had three children. One had been adopted, one left at the age of 15 to go live with her father, and there was Tommy.

Mitchell was not Tommy’s father. And reportedly he had never laid a hand on the girl who had left home. Mitchell reportedly had problems with substance abuse and had lost his job.

pensacolanewsjournal.com                     bradenton.com

                             pensacolanewsjournal.com

As so often happens, schoolchildren are now having to cope with learning about the death of one of their schoolmates due to violence. Though it is unsettling for all, schoolchildren can be particularly affected by the death due to violence. Many of them may have had little experience with death, and the way they are learning is through the sudden violent death of one of their peers. Often it will put the questions in their minds- if this could happen in his home, could it happen in mine? Tommy was only 10, and was living with things that no child should. Yet someday he would have grown and got out. He had a potential life ahead of him, and someday should have been able to make his own decisions and choices about how to live his own life.

Betty Mitchell, living in an abusive relationship, at a seedy hotel. Two children already left her, yet she stayed in the same lifestyle. Yet there was always the possibility, the slim hope that someday she might turn things around and straighten out the problems in her life. But that was taken away from her.

One thing I would like to bring out is the statement from the family: “She couldn’t, or wouldn’t, get out of it”. For those who are remaining in abusive relationships, I have this question. Will your family someday say the same thing about you?

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1 Comment

  1. D.P. said,

    October 11, 2006 at 6:00 pm

    During my time working at a DV shelter, I found that a large percent of the women who sought help there did so because of their children. Whether the case was their abuser was targeting the children, or the mother just decided the abuse was too much for her child to further witness, the most common catalyst for seeking out the shelter was the protection of not themselves, but their children. I wish to hell Tommy Mitchell’s mom had done just that.


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