The phone rang between 11 pm and midnight on Wednesday. It was their son-in-law asking them to come and get the couple’s 13 month old baby. He reportedly told them “I want you to raise my baby.”
Like most parents, like most grandparents they sensed something was wrong and left to get the baby.
When they arrived at their daughters home, they found a key in the door. Inside the home they found their granddaughter safe in her playpen. Someone had fixed two bottles and put them in with her- it is thought that was to last her until her grandparents arrived.
Upstairs in the master bedroom lay the bodies of their daughter Sheila Davis, 43, and her husband Joe Edward Wright, 43. Joe Wright still had a gun in his hand. Around them in the bedroom were the family photo albums. Police theorize that Wright may have been going through them before he killed himself.
The only problems the grandparents knew of was the family was having financial problems. But Wright’s brother has said that his brother called him on Wednesday night and said that his wife was threatening to leave him and take the baby. At least one other report say the couple was separated and that Wright was living elsewhere. That report also said that Davis tried to hide problems the couple had from her family.
Sheila Davis was a special education teacher. And the school where she worked has lost a principal and another teacher in the last year (the principal in June and the other teacher just two days before), though it appears this was the only one lost due to violence.
I don’t know about Mrs. Davis’ parents, but to me the phone ringing late at night is very scary. And to then hear what their son-in-law had to say, that had to have been frightening. According to Yahoo maps, the distance the grandparents had to drive was around 25 miles. That distance had to have felt like the longest drive they ever took. Then to arrive and find their daughter and their son-in-law……no parent should ever have that experience.
Thankfully the baby was safe. But she will now be growing up without her parents. And through their grief, a couple who had raised their children and saw them off to lives of their own, will now be acting as parents again. Both an unplanned responsibility and a source of joy and comfort.