She was 6. And on Tues. morning she got up for school all by herself. Coming out of her room she found her mother Patricia Hamilton, 48, just outside her bedroom door. Her mother was bloody, unresponsive.
She did what she had to do. She called 911 at 8:23 am. And when police arrived she talked to them, told them what she knew.
Police found her mother lying on the floor outside the child’s bedroom, dead from stab wounds.
Investigator’s found several things at the home. Patricia Hamilton was a teacher’s aide. And one of her duties was to collect lunch money from the schoolchildren. Some of those envelopes were at the home, and the money was missing from them. Police say it wouldn’t have been much money, but possibly more than $10.
Police also found that Patricia Hamilton’s van was missing from the home. And they found out that Patricia Hamilton had a restraining order against her husband 46-year-old Bernie Hamilton. In the 2004 court records where she applied for the restraining order, it was stated that Hamilton had stalked and harassed her and “The defendant has broken coffee cups, overturned tables, scares child by irrational behavior,” “Plaintiff is alarmed and frightened by defendant’s actions. She fears for her and her child’s safety.” Bernie Hamilton was ordered to attend classes on alternatives to domestic violence. The restraining order was granted and Bernie Hamilton was barred from the couple’s apartment and from his wife’s workplace.
There was a custody agreement, and visitation was to be handled by taking the child to the children’s area of the library for the exchange. Reports here split. Some reports say that Hamilton had begun doing his visitation at the home and some reports say they couple had been living together again.
Witnesses reported seeing Hamilton at the apartment the night before the murder.
The little 6 year old girl was placed with relatives.
On Wednesday, police found Patricia Hamilton’s van at a bus station. And they say they found evidence inside that points to Bernie Hamilton as the killer. They are declining to discuss what they found.
Charges of murder in the first degree, possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes in the third degree and contempt of court for violating a restraining order were filed against Bernie Hamilton. Felony murder charges are being considered. He was also charged with child endangerment in the second degree.
However they do not have Hamilton in custody. Because the van was found at a bus station, they have issued a nationwide alert for him. Bernie Hamilton is also known as Bernie Tomkins.
One more child, this time waking up on her own. Alone in a home occupied only by the dead body of her mother. She was forced to take an adult’s role in calling authorities. She was forced to deal with her fears with only strangers in uniforms for company. She had to be the one to answer their questions. And she had to learn that there was nothing that could help her mother. And at some point she is going to learn that it was all at the hands of her father.