Posted: Mar 11, 2013 4:37 PM by David Ortiviz
Updated: Mar 11, 2013 6:19 PM
Heart-wrenching new details are emerging about a teenage boy in Pueblo who fought to save his mother from a killer. News 5 has learned last month Adeline Whitehead was stabbed more than 30 times, as her teenage son watched in horror.
Her death is now raising awareness about domestic violence and steps to preventing such tragedies.
The brutal killing happened on Feb. 19, inside Whitehead's house on Mass St. According to a police report, Roy Whitehead stabbed his wife Adeline to death. An autopsy report shows she had bruising on her body and was stabbed somewhere between 30 and 35 times.
In a desperate attempt to save his mother, the teenager tried to intervene. "I tried to get (Roy) off of her but I couldn't," said the teen, according to a police report. The boy also claims Roy "put a knife to my neck," however he wasn't harmed.
The teen apparently tried using a shard of broken glass and a baseball bat to stop the attack, but he was unsuccessful.
"We're having trouble coming to terms with this and we're just reading about it. Can you imagine witnessing something like that, it's just mind-blowing," said Brandi Moore, Executive Director of the YWCA in Pueblo. "I think it is very heroic of him and very sad because this young man is going to carry this with him the rest of his life," she added.
With two other small children inside the house, the teen ran to the neighbors for help. He then went back to the house to be with his siblings, get his grandmother's ashes and pray.
When police arrived they found a 10-inch kitchen knife near Adeline's body. There was also a machete. Whitehead apparently tried to stab himself before he left the house, crashed his motorcycle and died.
"My dad stabbed my mom and said that he was gonna kill himself on his Harley," the teen told police.
Police also found three cell phones inside the oven, apparently hidden so no one could call for help. The three children were not pysically harmed and are now living with family.
"This is devastating," said Moore. Moore and Cindy Lau are experts in domestic violence and the devastating impact it has on families. The women run the YWCA shelter in Pueblo, a safe haven for battered women and children. Unfortunately, violence against women is something they see far too often. "Somebody was smashed in the face with a wrench and yesterday someone came in they were hit with a hammer," said Lau.
Lau says when there's abuse, the violence typically escalates. "It's like Russian Roulette. We don't know when that person is going to turn," said Lau.
Two months before Whitehead was killed, Pueblo Police investigated a domestic violence call at the couple's house, but Adeline didn't filed charges. "I don't blame her and I don't blame any victim who's involved in something like this," said Whitehead.
Fear often forces victims to stay with their abusers. However, experts say seeking help may be the only way to prevent tragedies like this. "They need to call the police, get a restraining order and try to leave that situation as fast as they can," said Moore.
The YWCA in Pueblo has a 24-hour crisis line for victims of domestic violence. They offer free counseling and shelter for battered women and children. The hotline can be reached at 719-545-8195.