CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – It could take weeks for the coroner to determine how two children died in Castle Rock.
Police found Liam, 9, and Madigan, 6, in their bedrooms at a home on Cherry Street in the Founders Village subdivision. Their mother, Kelli Murphy, is charged with murdering them.
“Madigan was a beautiful, beautiful child,” friend Jennifer Neeley said. “She giggled and she sang; full of life.”
Liam was known for his energy.
Neeley’s children attended school with both the Murphy children at Rock Ridge Elementary. Neeley is a family friend now inviting the community to a vigil on Thursday evening.
“To shed tears and hugs and hug our children and make sure we’re there for each other,” Neeley said.Neeley, like many in Castle Rock, say the images of Murphy in court accused in the murder of her children is completely out of character.
“That’s not the Kelli Murphy that I know,” she said.
“We’re seeing this from the outside looking in. The person who lives with this in — is experiencing something altogether different,” Metro State College professor Dr. Larry Curry said.
Curry specializes in family psychology. He says warning signs could have been present with Murphy, but easily missed by many.
“When someone gets so overwhelmed with emotional stress of their life — divorce, separation — and combination of everyday life; sometimes it’s just one thing too much for them to handle,” Curry said.
Court documents show Murphy and her husband filed for bankruptcy last June and then for divorce in February. A complaint of domestic abuse had been filed and a temporary restraining order granted in March. The restraining order was vacated a week later. Authorities say officers answered five or six calls to the home in recent months and no criminal behavior was suspected at those times.
“People become overwhelmed and don’t realize what used to work no longer works,” Curry said. “For all of us, it’s a wakeup call to self examine and take a look at people that are close to us that we care about.”
The candlelight vigil for Liam and Madigan will be Thursday at Founders Park in Castle Rock at 7 p.m.
1st Bank of Castle Rock has set up a memorial fund for the children. Send any donations to them in care of the Liam and Madigan Murphy.
Experts say a psychological autopsy will now happen by investigators by looking at the history of the parents, their relationship and any issues at school for the children. Those finding will help in building the legal case.
Funerals for the children are scheduled for this Friday.