Father of Murdered Elkhart Children Speaks

By: Kari Huston
By: Kari Huston

She's accused of killing his children still Gonzalo Lopez tells Newscenter 16 he can't hate his former wife, Angelica Alvarez.

“I blame her job. She was fired recently and with all that stress look how far she went,” Lopez says. “Nothing we can do now. I don't hate her. I say this with all my heart. I only wish her luck. She will need it.”

Maternal Filicide, as it's called in psychology, is child murder at the hands of mothers.

According to a study by the American Journal of Psychiatry 61 % of children murdered in this country are killed by their own parents, 30 percent of those by their mothers, 31 percent by their fathers.

In April of 2005 a mother in the Chicago suburb of Rolling Prairie killed both her children.

Research says murdering mothers often suffered abuse themselves, have limited education, poor social support, and sometimes a history of substance abuse.

Recognizing the signs of such a break can be difficult even for professionals. “There is often a change in behavior,” explains psychologist Dr. Brad Mazick, of the Madison Center for Children. “There may be severe mood swings. They may go through possessions and give things away. They may make comments that people overlook like, ‘If we were gone things would be better’.”

Jennifer, Gonzalo, Daniel and Jessica were loving outgoing children according to everyone who knew them. Brian Baughman is pastor of Hispanic Ministries at the Osceola Grace Brethren Church where the family attended. “The children were so lovable, always wanting a hug,” he recalls. “The funeral services will be together for all four children. Both fathers (Fernando Valdez, father of two eldest, and Gonzalo Lopez, father of two youngest) are working together to be sure these kids have a funeral together. They were always together in life.”

Visitation for the Lopez and Valdez children will be together at the Osceola Grace Brethren Church Monday, November 20th, from 4 – 8 p.m.

A Mass of Christian burial will be take place at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Elkhart Tuesday, November 21st, at 11 a.m. Angelica Alvarez remains under arrest inside the hospital tonight.

A judge agreed there was probable cause to arrest Alvarez yesterday. Elkhart County Prosecutor, Curtis Hill, has until next Wednesday to formally charge Alvarez. Because the Thanksgiving holiday falls next Thursday, it's likely her initial hearing won't be until Monday, November 27th.

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