A mother of four was shot dead in apparent murder-suicide while at least one of her children was in the house.
Clarissa Ford, 33, was the mother of four daughters, aged 14, 8, 3, and 5 months old.
Clarissa’s eight-year-old daughter is confirmed to have been at home when the horrific incident occurred. The memory of her mother’s violent death is likely to stick with the little girl “for a long time,” says the victim’s father Ralph Ford.
“No family should have to go through this,” Mr Ford, told KDVR.
“It’s an unbelievable pain,” he continued. “It’s an unbelievable situation to be in.”
Mr Ford went on to say that when he was weeping over the loss of his daughter, the eight-year-old girl was comforting him: “When I broke down, she was patting me on the back saying, ‘Hey, Papa Ralph, it’s going to be OK.’
“She’s my inspiration, he added. “She’s why I have to be strong.”
Denver Police Department have said that they believe the murder was domestic violence related and are not currently looking for anyone else in connection with the crime. They have yet to release the name of the suspected killer, Clarissa’s boyfriend.
Clarissa’s parents are both retired and struggling to find money for her funeral. A member of the family has set up a GoFundMe to help cover the expenses.
According to a message included on the GoFundMe page, there was considerable property damage at Clarissa’s home prior to the deaths.
The appeal reads: “ “The children belongings were destroyed, so they need clothing and toys.”
Cash donations have already reached $17,000 (just under £14,000) and the family has said there have been numerous touching donations of clothes and toys.
Mr Ford told reporters that the shocking news of his daughter’s death has devastated his family. He urged anyone dealing with domestic violence to get help sooner rather than later: “If you in a situation, tell somebody,” he said, “let somebody know, find somebody you can trust.”
For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.