NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The young witness of a horrific triple murder in Bellevue has a lengthy and tough emotional recovery ahead of her, according to experts. Neighbors vow to support the 9-year-old every step of the way.
Marylea Jordan, 71, her daughter Michelle Pinkowski, 48, and Pinkowski's son, Jonathan Culpepper, 14, were killed early Sunday at their home at 808 Beech Bend Drive. The suspect is their neighbor Craig Garber.
Pinkowski's 9 year old daughter witnessed her grandmother's death before escaping unharmed to a friend's house down the street. CEO of Family and Children's Service, Michael McSurdy, says while the loss remains, the focus needs to be on the positive.
"One of the most important things is for there to be an immediate response," said McSurdy, " She will need immediate assurances that everyone will make it as okay as they can."
McSurdy said everyone deals with grief differently, but if family and trusted friends help the girl cope, healing is possible.
"It's a matter of talking about the loss. ‘this was horrible, how do you understand it? What are your feelings associated with it? How do your grieve it?'"
While the 9-year-old stays with family in Williamson County for now, the community is already reaching out to help her.
Harpeth Valley Elementary School started accepting donations for the little girl and other family members at the Bellevue Pinnacle Bank on Highway 70. Donations can be made to the Harpeth Valley PTO Burial & Benevolence Fund.
Also, supporters can donate to the Mike and Cynthia Jordan Fund at any Bank of America Branch. All donations will help cover funeral or other expenses.
A candlelight vigil for the victims is set for Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Red Caboose Park in Bellevue.