Yesterday I posted information on dad CHRISTOPHER MILBURN, who shot to death his teenage daughter, her foster father, and then himself. The foster mother was wounded but survived. The Associated Press in now confirming that Milburn was a custodial father. He had just moved to the neighborhood two weeks before. The mother lives out of state.
Questions I'd like to see answered:
1) When a child makes a complaint of abuse by a parent, why would you put the child in a foster care home that it only 2 doors down from the alleged offender? Who made this decision and why?
2) How did this father get custody? Were there abuse allegations by the mother before? If so, what evaluators chose to ignore the allegations or blame the mother for being an "alienator"? What judge made the final decision to give this father custody? Will he or she be held accountable? (Unfortunately, the answer to the last question is always "no.")
August 3, 2009
Gunman, Daughter Among 3 Dead in Northwest Tenn.
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 7:57 p.m. ET
DYERSBURG, Tenn. (AP) -- A northwest Tennessee man accused of abusing his teenage daughter shot her to death, police said Monday, and killed a neighbor acting as her foster father before turning the gun on himself.
Christopher Milburn, 34, also shot his 15-year-old daughter's foster mother during the Sunday rampage just two houses down the street from where he lived. His daughter, whose name was not released, had been staying with the couple while the state Department of Children's Services investigated the abuse claim, Dyersburg Police Capt. Steve Isbell said.
Neighbors Tammy and Frank Hipps said Milburn was good friends with Todd Randolph, the 46-year-old foster father, and had worked for him in the past.
''They were always laughing and cutting up,'' Frank Hipps said. The two had even vacationed in Las Vegas together.
Hipps, 49, said he had known the two about eight years. He didn't know the details of the abuse allegations but he questioned why the girl had been placed just two houses down from her father.
''That kid shouldn't have been in that house,'' he said. ''This might have been preventable if she had been placed with foster parents out of the community.''
Neither Isbell nor child services agency spokesman Rob Johnson would elaborate on the abuse allegations other than to say the investigation began last week.
Tammy Hipps said the 15-year-old was Milburn's daughter by a previous relationship. He was married and the couple had two daughters, both younger than the teenager.
The girl's mother was living out of state, Isbell said. He was waiting for the mother to come to Dyersburg before releasing the girl's name.
Police found the teenager and Todd Randolph dead at the Randolph home. Milburn was found about a block away, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.
Charles Wootton, 71, who lives across the street from the Randolphs, said he heard five pops and thought it was firecrackers, but when he looked out the window he saw Randolph on the ground near the mailbox.
''My wife opened the door and walked out and seen the blood. That's when I called 911,'' he said.
Wootton said neighbors started to gather at the Randolph's house and one who is a nurse performed CPR on Randolph, who had been shot through the neck.
Randolph's wife, Susan, was sitting on the front porch with her head on her chest. Wootton said at first thought he thought she had been killed, too. ''She told me who did it,'' Wootton said.
Susan Randolph, 45, was released Monday from a Memphis hospital.
The Randolphs have two young children who were at their grandparents' house during the shootings, Wootton said.
Wootton had moved to the neighborhood about two weeks ago, and Todd Randolph had mowed his yard several times.
''The people around here are just about the friendliest you've ever met,'' said Wootton. ''I don't know what happened to that guy.''
A prayer service for the Randolph family was planned for Monday night at their church, St. Mary's Episcopal.
Isbell said Milburn had no criminal record in Dyersburg, a city of approximately 18,000 people about 70 miles northeast of Memphis.
Tammy Hipps, 49, said Milburn worked as a counselor at the McDowell Center for Children, which helps at-risk and troubled children.
She said it was hard to believe the killings happened in their quiet suburban neighborhood where residents can walk around at all hours without fear. On Monday afternoon, Hipps put flowers and signs reading ''Our prayers are with your family. God bless you. We are here for you,'' in the yards of both houses.
''These are two families that's been here for years and everybody knew them, and all of a sudden, this happens,'' Tammy Hipps said.
The shootings marked the second domestic killing rampage in Tennessee in just over two weeks.
Jacob Levi Shaffer of Fayetteville, a small town near the Alabama border about 70 miles west of Chattanooga, is accused of fatally stabbing five people and beating another to death July 18.
The victims were Shaffer's estranged wife, her teenage son, a boy who was visiting and the wife's father and brother. An acquaintance of Shaffer's was found beaten to death at a business in Huntsville, Ala.