Jump forward to this past weekend. The woman and the two boys went missing. The vehicle she was driving was found in a wooded area. One boy, the youngest, was dead of multiple knife wounds. The older son and the mother were taken to the hospital, also with multiple knife wounds. This afternoon, to no one's surprise, murder and assault charges were filed against the mother.
That's sad and sick enough. Here's where it gets weird for me.
There was a picture of the mother online for the first time today. She looked very familiar to me. I thought I placed her, but wasn't sure. So I found the family address, looked at a picture of the house at the County Assessor's web site, and confirmed what I suspected. I did know her.
Not by name, no.
Back when we were a family, we lived for awhile on ValleyView Drive in Coralville, a short walk from where this family lives. This woman would come around, pushing a stroller. (Considering when we were there, it had to be the older son - the younger son would not have been born until after we moved from that spot.) One day she came by while I had the dogs outside. They saw her coming and started to walk toward her and the stroller. She freaked out, started screaming at me to take the dogs inside.
Now, neither of my dogs would ever harm a kid. Never. They've been around babies and toddlers and kids all their lives, and they are great with them. But I took them in anyway. No big deal.
A couple of days later, same thing was about to happen. But this time, she started screaming at me to take the dogs inside BEFORE they even saw her. Of course, her screaming got them to turn and see her, and they became interested in this yelling lady. Once again, I got them and took them inside. No big deal.
A few weeks later, same thing. She starts yelling BEFORE she gets to our place. This time, big deal. I got the dogs and started yelling back. Which caused her to yell more. Which caused the dogs to get excited. Which caused her to yell more. Which caused me to yell more. There may have been - scratch that, there was - profanity, and lots of it. Mostly from me. Lesa, having heard me, finally came and pulled me and the dogs inside.
She continued to walk by. It was always at the same time, so we got to making sure the dogs weren't outside at that time. I drive by their house a lot - hell, when E's here, I drive by it at least twice a day, because it's on the way to his daycare provider's house - and everytime I would drive by and see her outside, I would always curse her a little under my breath.
So anyway, that freaked me out today. It didn't necessarily surprise me - she was a fucking crazy lady five years ago, and she's apparently a fucking crazy lady today - but it did freak me out.