In a murder-suicide case that has rocked Indiana, a 46-year-old mom reportedly depressed over a breakup killed her son, then set their house on fire and shot herself to death.
Carla Gilliland had gunned down her son Parker Gilliland-Wampler, 15, and their dead bodies were discovered inside their burning house in Ellettsville, Indiana on Thursday.
The Monroe County Coroner has ruled Parker’s death a homicide, and his mother’s death a suicide.
A source told Indianapolis news station WTHR that Gilliland had hit a rough patch over a “family breakup,” while Sheriff’s Detective Sgt Brad Swain said Gilliland had been recently embroiled in “domestic issues” involving Gilliland and Parker’s father and had hinted about wanting to hurt herself and the boy.
A neighbor said, “She’s just been sad lately, depress[ed]. Some issues she didn’t share. [We] tried to help out as much as we could. It’s just a tragedy.”
But Gilliland’s daughter Katie has charged that the crime was preventable, as police apparently didn’t intervene when Parker expressed concern about his mom’s behavior and they had visited the home.
“We have legal parameters to operate by…and they are restricting sometimes,” Sgt. Swain told local media about law enforcement and child protective services rules.
Katie Gilliland, Parker’s older sister, wrote on Facebook that cops simply didn’t act: “I would like everyone to know. That the system failed,” she wrote. “It failed me. And it most certainly failed my baby brother. CPS and [Sheriff’s] department were aware that [P]ark was afraid for his life to be in that house…Yet they made him go back.”