Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rhilee Collier: Rest in Peace Baby Girl!

On Sunday, as gunfire erupted from inside a home in EL Cajon, California, an innocent child was forever silenced.

Rhilee Collier, 14 months old, would be discovered in the aftermath of an officer shot, the bullet to his neck caught on film while exchanging gunfire with the child's father from inside the family home. The angry man then shot and killed his mother-in-law and after hours of gunfire, set the home ablaze before he died.

Officers found the child in back of his truck. Her mother, Alyssa, happened to be someplace else at the time of the rampage.

Alyssa filed for divorce on August 17, 2011, just 4 days prior to the shootings. In a text message Alyssa sent to a friend prior she says " I have never been so scared in my life."

The husband, Kevin Collier, had a prior history of violence and angry outbursts, beginning with restraining orders filed in 2003, by his own father and brother.

In court documents Alyssa asked for sole custody and child support. After she filed papers Kevin hacked into her facebook account and made changes to her information and profile.

I would like you to stop for a moment and take your eyes back up to Rhilee's photo. Her silence is the siren we need to change how cases of intimate partner violence that lead to homicide are handled in a court system that is ill equipped to properly address and assist these types of cases in every state across the country.

By the grace of God, Alyssa is alive. What she will endure in the days, months and years ahead, if she survives, will be nothing short of a miracle. The aftermath of the murders or as I call them the "intruder or now permanent guest of darkness" of her thoughts will consume her 24-hours a day. In one day her only child and mother are murdered. As time passes, the wounds to her heart and soul will not likely ever heal. At any age a trauma of this magnitude is far from recoverable and Alyssa will always be known, as though it were etched like a tattoo, as the mother married to the monster that took her entire world. If she remains in the same area, people will whisper when she ventures out in public. Silently pointing fingers, recognizing that it's her or sending texts to friends saying "guess who I just saw?" instead of asking how she is doing and offering words of prayer or encouragement. We are not a society that empathizes well with victims of violent crime and I hope people will cover her like a warm blanket with support and offer hope months, and even years, down the road. She will need it!

Rhilee's short life should be the "siren" in a legal system where divorce, child custody, post decree matters, intimate partner violence and mediation matters are handled with respect to safety issues now surrounding the majority of these cases because a victim wants to end the relationship with a clever, yet extremely dangerous psychopath.

Rhilee Collier's life, for God sake, should hold more importance to the world. Think about it, before she learned but a handful of words, the world let her down. We must not allow her abrupt silence to prevail in cases of intimate partner homicide.


Susan Murphy Milano is a staff member of the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education. She is a specialist with intimate partner violence prevention strategies and high risk cases and available for personal consultations through the Institute. She is also part of the team at Management Resources Limited of New York.

Susan is the author of "Time's Up: A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships,"Moving out, Moving on, and Defending Out Lives. Susan is the host of The Susan Murphy Milano Show, "Time'sUp!" . She is a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated "The Roth Show" with Dr Laurie Roth and a co-host on Crime Wire.

If you would like to schedule Susan Murphy Milano for interviews, please contact: ImaginePublicity PO BOX 14946 Surfside Beach, SC 29587 Phone: 843.808.0859 email- contact@imaginepublicity.com


nthwdds said...
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nthwdds said...
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nthwdds said...

This case did not need to end this way. She was leaving him for a reason and no one listened to her...sadly her safety measures were not enough.

Jennifer said...

My heart hurts after reading this tragic story. I am a also victim of domestic violence, and I wasn't the last person to be abused by my abuser. If the system did more to protect victims and punish the abusers things like this would not happen. More steps should have been taken, and if they had maybe this beautiful angel would still be alive! God bless her mother and be with her to help her through this.

Melanie said...

I'm posting this on my FB as NYS seems to have forgotten how serious domestic violence is.

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