[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
The Baldwinsville, New York community was shaken by the news of a horrific murder-suicide carried out by one of their own…
Christopher Wood and Heather Wood had been separated for some time but were still married, according to CNY Central. Their daughter, 14-year-old Ava Wood, a rising soccer star, primarily lived with her father.
According to The Post-Standard, Heather last heard from her husband on Thursday night. The depressed 51-year-old told his estranged wife something extremely eerie, but she didn’t think much of it at the time. Christopher reportedly said:
“This is how it ends for us.”
Heartbreakingly, this would be the last time Heather would hear from her estranged spouse or her only child…
The next morning she received a call from Durgee Junior High School that Ava hadn’t shown up for her classes. Immediately the girl’s mother called 911 and reported the situation, which urged police to perform a welfare check after she revealed to them what her husband had said the night before. Officers arrived at the father’s home around 8:30 on Friday morning and used the house key Heather gave them to enter the home.
In separate bedrooms the bodies of both Christopher and Ava were found, both of them suffering gunshot wounds — the father’s believed to be self-inflicted. Police told CNY the case is being treated as a murder-suicide. So so sad…
Heather released a tear-jerking statement following the discovery, telling LocalSYR:
“We want to begin by expressing our gratitude for the outpouring of love that we’ve received in the last 24 hours—it is the love and support from our community that will sustain us in the coming days. To Ava’s friends, classmates, and teammates: please continue sharing photos and tributes to Ava. She loved each and every one of you, and we are grateful for the love you have shown her and our family.”
In an email obtained by The Post-Standard, Baldwinsville school district announced the death of the teen to the families of her peers:
“It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart that I inform you of the tragic loss of Durgee Jr. High School 9th grade student Ava Wood. We are a close-knit school community and our hearts are broken by this tragedy. Our thoughts are with Ava’s family and friends during this extremely difficult time.”
A GoFundMe has also been created to help the family cover final expenses for the girl and her father, the description reading in part:
“Our hearts are broken and her mom, family, teammates, and friends are shocked and rocked to the core. Ava, our beautiful friend was such an amazing, funny, competitive young girl who could always make you laugh by the silly things she said and did. She always brightened everyone’s day with her infectious smile. Her light still shines so brightly in our hearts, and always will. … Your contributions will go to supporting a mom who is left to grieve the loss of her only child, and her best friend.”
Just gut-wrenching. If you’d like to donate to the family, you can find the link HERE. Our hearts are with Ava’s family and loved ones as they navigate this devastating loss.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, help is available. Consider contacting the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, by calling, texting, or chatting, or go to 988lifeline.org.
[Image via YouTube/NewsChannel 9 WSYR Syracuse]
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