Brockville mother kills 5-year-old daughter, then herself
Published Friday, October 31, 2014 5:38PM EDT Last Updated Friday, October 31, 2014 6:23PM EDT
Brockville police say a young mother murdered her 5-year-old daughter then took her own life. The murder-suicide was discovered yesterday afternoon in an apartment building in Brockville on Hyde Court, in the city’s north end. Police were sent out to check on the family after concerns from someone that the girl hadn't been to school. They never expected to discover two bodies inside.
Police aren't releasing the names but friends and neighbors have identified the two as Monica Willemsen and daughter Katrina.
Monica had lived in the apartment building with her daughter for several years. The two were well known by neighbors and well liked. Alicia St. John says her son attended kindergarten with Katrina.
‘She was always a bubbly person,’ St. John said outside the building, ‘a very friendly lady and her daughter goes to school with my son. It's too bad this happened.’
‘I used to see her every morning when I brought my son to go to school,’ added Cory Crowder, a neighbor of Willemsen’s. ‘We'd always say hi and she always seemed upbeat and the child was a bright and bubbly girl and the last two mornings we didn't see them, we didn't think anything of it.’
In fact it was a call from Katrina's school yesterday that prompted the discovery of the bodies. She hadn't shown up for kindergarten. When the school couldn't reach a family member, it contacted police; a standard call. Police had no idea what they were walking into.
‘At this time, we had no information that would lead us to believe anything like this would happen,’ says Brockville’s Police Chief Scott Fraser. ‘It’s a complete tragedy. The family is devastated. And it wasn't something the police saw coming and I’m sure the family didn't either.’
The family has asked for privacy and they try to deal with this tragedy. Someone close to the family did say that the girl's parents had been separated for about 5 years and that Monica Willemsen had suffered some depression.’
Along with lots of selfies on Willemsen's Facebook page, are many photos of mother and daughter; smiling and happy. That's what friends and neighbours can't understand.
‘Makes you wonder what happened and what made her….’ Says neighbor Dale Cheetham, his voice trailing off, before he adds one final word, ‘Scary.’
Autopsies are underway to determine how the two died. But the bigger question is why? And what could have been done to prevent it.