Girl blogged about sexual abuse for years before her grandfather finally killed her
Though Terrell Cowherd hadn't seen his estranged 11-year-old daughter Anahlia Cowherd in years, something told him to Google her name Tuesday morning. A search for Anahlia's name turned up a series of disturbing blog posts written by the young girl, the last had gone up Monday evening and was titled, "Help…Me…" In it, the preteen reveals her grandfather threatened to take her life. "He actually threatened to KILL my family," she writes. "Right now I'm in my mom's room, the door locked, my dog close, my brother here, my Grandpa somewhere, my Grandma is not home. My mom is coming…I'm so scared." Confused and disturbed, Cowherd contacted the Seattle Police Department to tell them of his findings. However, it appeared they had their own piece of troubling news to share with him. Anahlia was dead. Her grandfather killed her.
Read more ¿Qué más?: Thalia reaches out to missing children's family after her own kidnapping horror
Anahlia and her mother Christine Dela Isla were gunned down in their home by Isla's father, 78-year-old Honorario Yano Monday night in an apparent murder-suicide. Police were called to the family's home in Seattle by Anahlia's 10-year-old brother, who'd apparently witnessed the massacre. According to the boy, his grandfather brandished a handgun at his mother and sister before shooting them. He then turned the gun on himself. Neighbor Jerome Mannan says he saw the boy leave his home Monday evening, barefoot and limping. "He was frightened, you could see that," recalls Mannan. "I feel sorry for him because he looked traumatized. The fact that three people are dead? That's horrific." That's putting it mildly.
Apparently, Anahlia and her brother had been living in a house of horrors for some time. In one of her first posts, the preteen reveals that her grandfather had been molesting her since she was about eight or nine years old. In another, she writes about finally telling her mother about her grandfather's abuse. "My mom said the next f****** time he does this she's gonna call the police," Anahlia recounted. Buoyed by her mother's reaction, Anahlia vowed to "bring justice to all girls who have been touched." However, about a month later Anahlia writes that her grandfather has started molesting her again. She also reveals that she's been feeling suicidal, and has even started cutting herself.
Ultimately, Anahlia did not get the justice she deserved. She died at the hands of the very man who'd made her life a living hell, despite all of her public and private pleas for help. It's a crying shame. Her mother apparently never made good on her promise to call the police. And her father hadn't been a part of her life for years. Who was looking out for this girl? No one, it seems. My heart bleeds for her. At the very least, I hope that her story will serve as a lesson for the rest of us. If someone you know asks for help, be it online or in person, cryptic or direct, take them seriously. You may be all they have.
Image via Corbis