With so many news reports of fathers killing mothers, mothers gone missing, leaving their children behind, I find the reality of children growing up as victims of violence to be an epidemic. Every day the stories are played out in national news and news talk shows.
On August 19, 2007, it's reported that Liza Murphy just up and walked out of her home after an argument with her husband, Joe Murphy, leaving behind her cell phone, cigarettes, all forms of identification, and most importantly, her three children, now 15, 13, and 10.
Liza Murphy and her husband were having marital problems, her family said. Stellatos described Joe Murphy as possessive of his wife, never allowing her to go out with her friends. She said he was even jealous if she spent time with her parents.Liza and her children had just returned from a week long visit with her parents, 125 miles away. Liza suffered from fibromyalgia and depression, however, according to her mother, would never walk away willingly from her children.
Oddly enough, Joe Murphy tried suicide by throwing himself in front of a fire truck. He recovered from his injuries, then subsequently "lawyered up" and is now not cooperating in the investigation of his missing wife. Joe Murphy has full custody of the children and has isolated them from Liza's family. They have not seen them since the last visit she made days before she vanished.
Similar in many ways to the Renee Pagel murder case in Michigan, where the father is also isolating the children and not cooperating with the investigation into Renee's murder, although Renee isn't a missing person, she very well could have been.
As in all cases of a troubled marriage, a lot of the truth will remain hidden. We don't know about alleged affairs, lifestyles and habits. What we do know is that there are three children who do not know where there mother is. Three more children have joined the club of many who didn't ask for tragedy and violence to enter their lives, but will now be guided by it forever.
Emerson Police Detective Sgt. George Buono, who has been in charge of the Murphy case, said that police will continue to investigate.
Anyone with any information is asked to call Emerson police at 201-262-2800.
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 cases and prevention strategies and high risk cases and available for personal consultations through the Institute. She is also part of the team atManagement 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 ofThe 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.