Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
Family Upset with Custody of Murder Victim's 8-Month-Old Baby
By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter
ELKADER, Iowa -- The children of an Allamakee County murder victim are upset about her death, and upset about what's happening now to their baby brother.
The weekend shooting death of Angela Gabel left her six children without a mother.
Five of them are teenage or older, and one is just eight months.
The father of that baby is Gabel's alleged killer, 33-year-old Christopher Thompson.
Court records show he admitted shooting Gabel in the head during an argument at their home near Monona Saturday night.
Thompson is in custody, charged with first-degree murder in Gable's death.
Gabel's older children say their baby brother is now with Thompson's mother.
17-year-old Sierra Friederck was at her high school's homecoming dance when she got a frantic cell phone call from her mom.
Sierra said, "I was at the dance and she sounded panicked and I went out so I could hear her better and all she said was, 'I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine.' and she hung up."
But Angela wasn't fine. She'd been shot in the head and died. Her boyfriend and father of their 8-month old baby was arrested, leaving baby Tacoma behind. The Allamakee County Sheriff's Department says that's when the Iowa Department of Human Services got involved.
Sierra said, "Tacoma never really went with Grandma, he was always with me."
Angela's oldest son, 24-year old Cody Friederck, says authorities should have handed Tacoma to him instead of Thompson's mother.
"It's like a void, ya know," Cody said. "If he was with us at least we'd have a part of her. We'd be there to care from him, you know."
A DHS spokesperson says the department can't talk about specific cases but says protocol in a situation like this is give temporary custody to a relative who steps forward to take the child.
Cody said, "It's like a bad dream that nobody can wake up from "
Gabel's children say she was a loving mother who wanted everything for her children. They say what she would want now is for her baby to to with his brothers and sisters.
Court documents show in March 2009, Thompson was charged with domestic assault. He later negotiated a plea deal for simple assault. Gabel's children say their mother was the victim in that incident as well.
On Monday , TV-9 contacted Thompson's mother, Lori Egan, but she says she has no comment at this time.