At the onset of the stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, domestic violence awareness organizations and hotlines reported that they were seeing an increase in the domestic violence cases as people were forced to be with their partners day in and day out.
Sadly, a failed relationship ended in a fatality and a suicide for a woman and her husband in Virginia.
According to PEOPLE, Peter Francis Sr., 57, shot and killed his wife Michele Francis, 53, after she served him with separation papers. Afterward, he killed himself.
The two had been married for 25 years.
Officers reached the former couple’s home in Stafford after 10 p.m. when people called 911 reporting hearing two gunshots.
Both of their bodies were found in the bedroom.
According to reports, the couple’s teenage son was on the first floor of the house during the time of the shooting.
Their daughter, also a teenager, was in Florida with her older sister, 24-year-old Tiffini Amber Pietrzak.
Pietrzak told the Free Lance-Star, that her mother wanted the separation because of her husband’s abuse.
“My father took my mom’s life simply because she got tired of his abuse and had decided to leave him. He’s been causing us pain our entire lives and now he’s caused pain that may never go away.”
Pietrzak took her younger sister in with her family in Florida after complaining that the home she shared with her parents had become too toxic.
At the time, Pietrzak also encouraged her mother to leave as well.
The Go Fund Me is set to cover the costs of supporting her teenage siblings.
“I never imagined having two extra people to be responsible for.” Amber told the paper. “We have enough on our plate with our own family, but I’m all they have left.”
A Go Fund Me campaign has been launched to help Pietrzak care for her younger siblings.
In the description for the fundraiser, Amber’s husband Eric Pietrzak wrote this as the reason for the donations.
It’s so hard to find the right words to summarize the purpose behind this Gofundme request. My wife, Amber, just lost both of her parents in an extremely unexpected tragic incident the night of October 31, 2020. My wife’s father murdered her mother and then took his own life immediately afterwards in their home located in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Michele “Mikki” Francis leaves behind 3 children, two of whom are still her dependents – an 18 year old senior son and a 15 year old sophomore daughter both still in high school. Amber and I unfortunately do not have adequate financial resources to handle this alone. We are asking for any assistance from our friends and family that can help us move forward through this difficult time. We live in Florida and have an overwhelming number of legalities to handle now. Thanks to everyone who has already offered their prayers and support and to those are able to reach out in the near future.
Eric & Amber Pietrzak
If you’d like to donate, you can do so here.