(KTVI/CNN) — Two young boys in Missouri were killed at the hands of their father before he turned the gun on himself.
Now, the mother is telling her story and what led up to that gruesome night.
Elissa Cadenbach describes her sons, 5-year-old Ethan and 4-year-old Owen, as “very active, always happy — Ethan liked to teach his younger brother how to do things. Owen really looked up to Ethan.”
But, a horrific tragedy took them from her. Christopher Cadenbach, her husband and the boys’ dad, shot and killed them on November 5. He then shot himself, leaving Elisa to hold the broken pieces.
“I want to get through tomorrow,” she said. “I want to get through burying my children. That is something you should never have to do.”
The Cadenbachs did have problems: Elissa wanted a divorce, and on the morning of the nightmare, Christopher attacked her.
“This is the first time that I’ve actually been choked to the point of passing out,” she said, “and he said ‘now you know what being choked out is, Elissa,’ because before I would say ‘you’re choking me,’ and he said ‘no, now you know what being choked means.'”
A warrant was issued for Christopher’s arrest. Meanwhile, he went to his mother’s home where the boys had spent the night.
“One of the reasons why I wanted that is because I wanted them to be in a safe place, away from Christopher and I. I felt like they would be safe away from the house.”
Christopher took the boys and his mom to the park, but his mom soon realized something was very wrong.
Elissa said his mother said ‘Christopher, you’re starting to scare me,’ and she reached for her phone. As she reached for her phone, he pushed her out of the car and then drove away with the boys.”
Elissa was at the police station when she heard the devastating news of the shooting and says police on the scene at the park did everything they could to save her boys.
She never believed her husband would hurt their children. “Christopher was a really good dad with those boys.”
So why did he kill them? Elissa’s sister Julie Walsh said “He did it to hurt her. He knew that he was going to be going away for a long time, and I think that he didn’t want anyone else to come into their life, because he knew that they were done.”
“Christopher was very sick,” Elissa said. “He needed help. Over the years, we tried to help him, but I just felt like I helped him to the point of I couldn’t help him any longer.”
Now, Elissa’s family wants to help her by honoring the boys that loved to ride bikes and scooters, fish and feed ducks, and for us to know that on Nov. 5th, 2016, Ethan and Owen Cadenbach were taken from this earth.
They leave behind love and memories in the hearts of everyone they’ve touched.
Elissa says her boys really loved superheroes, so that will be the theme of their funeral. She’s also encouraging anyone in a domestic violence situation to call a crisis hotline immediately.