Monday, November 14, 2005

A Wake-Up Call

Something disturbing about two homeschooled kids in today's news:

BELLEVILLE, Ind. - A man wanted in a Pennsylvania double homicide and apparent abduction of 14-year-old girl was captured Monday after a car he was driving crashed in Indiana following a police pursuit, State Police said. The girl was found unharmed.
State Police 1st Sgt. Dave Bursten said David Ludwig, 18, was apprehended about 12:30 p.m. EST after a car he was driving crashed about 20 miles west of Indianapolis.
Bursten said Ludwig was found with the missing girl, 14-year-old Kara Beth Borden, a daughter of the slain couple who was apparently Ludwig's girlfriend.
"He's in custody and we have the girl," Bursten said.
Police in Pennsylvania said Ludwig killed Kara's parents, Michael F. and Cathryn Lee Borden, early Sunday after they and their daughter argued about her curfew. The shootings happened at the family's home near Lititz in Warwick Township, about 60 miles west of Philadelphia.
Footage from news helicopters in Indiana showed a girl sitting in a police cruiser, and a young man wearing a gray T-shirt was handcuffed sitting next to a red Volkswagen Jetta that had run head-on into a tree on a curve of a rural road. The site is some 600 miles from the scene of the killings.
Authorities in Pennsylvania had said Ludwig had his parents' red Jetta.
Pennsylvania authorities talked with Indiana State Police, but had little new information. said Richard F. Garipoli Jr., police chief of Warwick Township.
"They are both OK and we are working with the Indiana State Police to get them back here," Garipoli said.
Police Chief William Seace said earlier that authorities were operating on the assumption that the girl had been kidnapped. An Amber Alert was issed for the eastern United States.
Kara Beth's 13-year-old sister, Katelyn, told investigators her father and mother were shot after they argued with Ludwig for about an hour, according to a police affidavit filed in court.
"As they got near the front door, Katelyn Borden saw David Ludwig with a handgun pointed toward her father and Katelyn saw David Ludwig pull the trigger, heard a gunshot, and then she ran into the bathroom," the affidavit said.
She heard a second shot — presumably the one that killed her mother — while hiding in the bathroom, it said. Ludwig then ran through the house calling for Kara, she told investigators.
The couple's 9-year-old son ran to the home of neighbors, who called 911, police said earlier.
Police late Sunday issued an arrest warrant for Ludwig on two counts of criminal homicide, one count of reckless endangerment and one count of kidnapping.
Lancaster County Coroner G. Gary Kirchner said Monday that the victims, who were both 50, apparently died of single gunshot wounds to the head. Autopsies were being conducted.
"It's completely insane, completely insane," Kirchner said. "This isn't a Romeo-and-Juliet deal; this is far worse than that."
The Borden family had lived in their home for several years, said neighbor Tod Sherman, 47. Mike Borden worked for a printing company, and the children were home-schooled, he said.
Sherman said the family knew the 18-year-old suspect through a home-schooling network.
Stephanie Mannon, 16, said Ludwig and Kara Borden had been seeing each other secretly.
"Their parents didn't approve of them being together" because of the age difference, she said. "It wasn't because he was a shady character, because he wasn't."
Both Ludwig and Kara Borden maintain Web sites. Hers refers to interests in soccer, art and her Christian faith; his says he enjoys "having soft air gun wars" and claims expertise in "getting in trouble."

I'd be lying if I said I didn't homeschool to protect my kids from these things, though it's not my sole reason. This has shaken me, because a part of me did think homeschooled kids wouldn't do things as radical as this. Sure, they will get into trouble...all kids do. But MURDER?! What happened to drive this young man to think killing this girls' parents would improve the situation?

It also scares me that the girl was secretly seeing him. I was 14 once, too. And my dad would not allow me to date, much less even talk to a boy on the phone, until I was 16. That didn't stop me. I saw boys in secret, too. Thank God I didn't find myself in this kind of situation. So, how do you insure the kind of relationship with your kids that has complete openness and honesty? Is it possible to have complete trust?

I feel so bad for the girl and her siblings. I'm pretty sure that right now she is wishing she had listened to her parents. She will feel responsible for this for the rest of her life. A hefty burden for someone so young.

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