I got a call from a neighbor last night. She told me she had something bad to tell me. Of course I panic and think something has happened to someone in their family. We are all good friends. Instead she asks if I remember the Riley family. They lived 2 houses from us and directly next door to them. She says that the neighbor across the street got a call from a reporter on Monday asking about the Riley family. We googled and found this. Just got this article from another neighbor.
The Riley Family was not a normal family. We all felt there was something off. We even knew that mom was on medication and that there were signs that she wasn't treated well. But they had three little kids Kate, Michael and Julia. Julia was a few months older than Austin so we talked frequently about how they'd be in class together, etc. The neighborhood welcomed them, but we were never really comfortable with them. I vividly remember the summer of 04. My friend's family had a summer party and invited all the neighbors. My twins were only about 8 months and Austin was just about 2. The three Riley kids were there as well as a bunch of others. Michael, who was 4 at the time was jumping off the diving board repeatedly as his dad sat on the edge of the pool watching. One of the times Michael jumped and was having difficulty. I watched in horror as Michael went under three times while trying desperately to get to the edge. I finally leaned out over the pool and yanked him out of the water. Mind you I was holding one of the twins at the time. It wasn't a smart thing to do, but I truly feared for this child. The entire time, his dad sat and watched, assuring us that he had had swim lessons and he was fine. I never really felt the same about the family after that incident and a few months later they moved. The neghbors still talk about the family on occassion, but it's not fond memories.
However, I never expected this. You read stories like this all too frequently, but you never expect to have a connection to it. It leaves me asking how could anyone do this and why would they do it? I can only imagine it was his last way of controlling and dominating his wife. She may not have been the best mom, but no mom deserves this.
My prayers go out to those three little Angels and only hope they are at peace.