In a tragic incident, two Missouri boys were killed by their own father in what is being described as a murder-suicide. The father of the two children is an individual identified as 43-year-old Christopher Cadenbach, who committed suicide shortly after killing both his sons. The kids have been identified as five-year-old Ethan Cadenbach and and four-year-old Owen Cadenbach. According to a Yahoo News report, the incident happened inside Cadenbach’s car near Cliff Cave County Park on Saturday. According to Lt. Col. Ken Cox with St. Louis County Police, the incident started earlier on Saturday after an arrest warrant was issued for Christopher Cadenbach, on domestic violence charges in Franklin County.
Earlier in the day, Christopher had spent time with both his sons and their mother at a park. By evening, the family returned to a home in the 300 block of Rauhut in south St. Louis County. After that, Cadenbach reportedly forcibly took the mother’s car along with the kids and drove off. After the children were taken away from her, the mother contacted the police, who in turn issued an Amber Alert. The alert also included the description of the vehicle in which Cadenbach and the two kids were in.
A few hours after the Amber Alert was issued, a St. Louis County Park ranger found the car with the occupants – both matching the description in the Amber Alert and called authorities in. Within minutes, police officers swooped in and moved in to arrest Cadenbach. However, as soon as police officials moved in to arrest Christopher and rescue the two kids, they heard the sound of gunshots from inside the car. Officials now believe the sound was of Cadenbach shooting his own kids. By the time police officers reached the car, both the boys were dead. Cadenbach, who was alive when officers reached him then took his own life as police officers watched in horror.
One day after the incident, the mother of the two boys, 40-year-old Elisa Sartorius-Cadenbach in an interview to the St.Louis Post-Dispatch revealed that Cadenbach could have killed himself and his own kids just to hurt her. Strangely, she also described her husband as “a very attentive, loving, over-the-top caring individual for these boys.”
“I don’t feel like anyone thought he would be capable of this,” Sartorius-Cadenbach added.
Elisa, however, revealed that she had recently indicated to Christopher about a divorce after nine years of marriage. The decision to part ways was taken because of Christopher’s abusive tendencies. Elisa claimed that she had been suffering physical at the hands of Christopher and things had come to a point where she could take no more. Her demand for a divorce was not welcome as far as Christopher was concerned.
“That was one of the things that set him off – knowing that our family dynamic was over and I was seeking a divorce. He kept telling me, ‘No – I’m not going to let you leave me.'”, he reportedly told her.
In fact, just a few days before the incident, Christopher had abused Elisa twice within a span of nine days. She had also sent a friend a photo of bruises on her face following which the friend reported the incident to the police. Following this, detectives reportedly visited to check on her on Saturday afternoon. Cadenbach had by then received information that he was being sought on a warrant for domestic abuse issued in Franklin County, St. Louis County. This realization about a possible long jail term could have led him to take the tragic decision to kill his own kids and commit suicide, Elisa says.
“I think that he snapped and knew that he was facing a lot of jail time. And he did this to hurt me, and I guess as revenge for me for pressing charges against him. He was trying to get back at me and hurt me the best way he knew how.”
Following the incident, a GoFundMe campaign was set up to manage the funeral expenses of both the boys.
[Featured Image by GoFundMe]