Virginia man kills wife, himself after she serves him separation papers

Their daughter says he may have suffered from untreated mental health issues.

Loading the player...

A Virginia family is in mourning after a tragic murder-suicide on Halloween night.

Michele Francis, 53, of Stafford attempted to serve her husband separation papers on Oct. 31, but it ended with him shooting her and then pulling the gun on himself.

Read More: Virginia man arrested for allegedly killing friend, driving with body in car

The Stafford County Sheriff’s office responded to a 911 call at Baldwin Drive in the subdivision of Cardinal Forest. They found the couple in the master bedroom with gunshot wounds, according to The Free Lance-Star.

The husband was identified as Peter Francis, 57, a surgical technician.

Michele Francis GoFundMe

“My father took my mom’s life simply because she got tired of his abuse and had decided to leave him,” Tiffini Amber Pietrzak, 24, the couple’s oldest daughter, who lives in Florida, told The Free Lance-Star in a phone interview.

“He’s been causing us pain our entire lives and now he’s caused pain that may never go away.”

The couple, married almost 26 years, shared an 18-year-old son who says he heard an argument and then gunshots from the upstairs bedroom. He ran upstairs and after discovering his father’s body in a closet, called 911.

Read More: Virginia Baptist church donates $1 million in surplus tithes

The couple also has a 15-year-old daughter who was staying with Pietrzak in Florida. Pietrzak says when she picked up her sister two weeks earlier to get her away from the deteriorating situation, she begged their mother to come along but she refused.

She describes her as the backbone of the family who worked a full-time job and two part-time jobs.

Pietrzak is asking for help to take care of the siblings she now has to raise. Both her sister and brother are still in high school.

“I never imagined having two extra people to be responsible for,” she adds, “We have enough on our plate with our own family, but I’m all they have left.”

The daughter has advice for other victims of abuse.

“People need to know they are not alone and perhaps it will encourage someone to take action before it’s too late.”

Donate to Pietrzak’s GoFundMe here.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

Loading the player...