“Daddy, daddy, what are you doing?” were the lasts words a mother heard her daughter say before she was murdered at the hands of her father.
Those are the horrific details that were shared by Karina Jonas’ close friend.
On Monday, May 11, Kentucky State Police say Tasha Jonas, 11, was shot by her father, John Jonas, who then turned the gun on himself in an apparent murder/suicide, according to WTKR.
A neighbor found the bodies of Tasha and John at their Vine Grove home, near Fort Knox, where John was serving as an Army Lt. Col.
“This definitely could have been prevented,” Tanja Manojlovic said, according to Fox5. “Besides a tremendous amount of grief, there’s an overwhelming amount of anger.”
Tanja explained that she believes the deaths were a direct result of a custody battle between Karina and John. She said Tasha moved to Kentucky with her father two years ago, and since then, Karina had been fighting to get her back.
According to a GoFundMe page set up to bring Tasha’s body back to Virginia, Karina had persistently notified the military, lawyers, Virginia and Kentucky court systems, and the Kentucky school system that she strongly believed her baby girl was in danger. A hearing had already been set up for August 19, 2015 at the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in Suffolk Virginia, where Tasha could have decided which parent with whom she wanted to live.
“Karina was fighting to tell the lawyers, the judges, the school, the social services,” Manojlovic said. “When it’s all said and done, we all look back and feel like we’ve all betrayed her in some level. The system has betrayed her.”
Tasha, described as a sweet girl who loved to play outside and dance, was a fifth grader at Vine Grove Elementary School. The school released the following statement regarding her death.
“We have been informed by the Kentucky State Police that a Vine Grove Elementary School student was the victim a tragedy Monday evening.
“The student’s family, the Vine Grove Elementary students and staff are in need of our community’s thoughts and prayers.
“Counselors from across our district and community are at the school this morning helping to console the Vine Grove Elementary School family during this difficult time.
“We are working through our crisis management plan and are taking the steps necessary to get through this ordeal.
“We want our Vine Grove Elementary School parents and families to know that it is OK for children to ask questions and to express emotion. Grieving is a process that effects people differently. We will provide support to our students and staff as long as they need it.”
According to the fundraising site, the Army doesn’t consider Karina family since they were divorced, and they will not support bringing Tasha’s body home to Virginia. They have also refused to provide any financial assistance for the funeral and internment. So far, the site has raised $17,000 for the cause.
[All photos via video screenshots]