Neighbors have a tough time wondering what prompted Eryk Graham to set his house on fire. That wasn't the worst of it. Graham lit the fire knowing his newborn baby daughter was inside. As a matter of fact, investigators found the fire was started just outsides his daughter's room.
WCPO News 9 spoke with Eryk Graham's neighbor Sally Clark who witnessed the incident.
"It floors me. I'm really…don't even know what to think right now."
Clark went on to explain that she consoled the mother after she found out what was going on.
"She was just crying and hugging me and said, 'Why is this happening? The baby was just screaming, and she told me he had punched both of the flat screens and was just tearing things up."
After setting the fire, Graham fled the scene, but police eventually caught up with him. He appeared in court on August 16 and is facing charges of child endangerment and domestic violence.
Clark was asked about Graham and if he seemed like the kind of guy that would snap like this.
"I didn't know anything was going wrong with them. but he was very quiet and kind of strange. He never spoke with us and just left - and I hardly ever see him."
Initially, Graham's wife spoke out against her husband. Police indicate that she "feared for her and her baby's life." When asked what set Graham off, she mentioned cheating and relationship issues. However, her tone changed once Graham appeared in court.
"He has never been an endangerment to my child. He's not an endangerment to me. All of this is false."
There was no indication why the mother had a change of heart. Fortunately, the baby is okay, and she did not suffer any injuries.
Loveisrespect.org, a non-profit organization that engages youth to prevent and end dating abuse, has a few theories about why someone stays in an abusive relationship, whether it be physically or mentally. They sight reasons such as fear, low self-esteem, and even love as reasons people might stay. The organization is quick to note that both women and men can find it hard to leave an abusive relationship.
Eryk Graham is facing his charges despite the fact his wife has decided to stand by him. Do you know someone who is in an abusive relationship that they can't seem to leave? If you have been in one yourself and walked away from it, we would love to hear how you found the courage.
[Photo by WLWT]