NASHVILLE (AP) — Relatives of a 9-year-old Nashville girl who escaped while her family was fatally stabbed say they will do what they can to help her.
The girl’s brother, 14-year-old Jonathan Culpepper; her mother, 48-year-old Michelle Pinkowski; and her grandmother, 71-year-old Marylea Jordan, were killed early Sunday in their home.
The girl’s great aunt, Deb Grey, told The Tennessean the 9-year-old woke to hear her brother pleading, “I’m sorry, man, I’m sorry.”
Then she heard her grandmother yelling at Garber to “get out of here!”
Police said the girl, who had been sleeping on the couch, fled when she saw her grandmother stabbed. She ran to the basement, where police later found her mother’s body, before running out a back door, jumping a fence and going to a neighbor’s house for help.
When officers arrived at the home, police spokesman Don Aaron said, a bloodied Garber answered the door and told officers, “Just kill me.” Police said Garber had self-inflicted stab wounds.
Aaron said Garber and Pinkowski were seen together on his porch around 11 p.m. Saturday and they may have gone from there to Pinkowski’s finished basement, where her body was found.
Grey, who lives in Massachusetts, said the family is trying to figure out what is best for the girl.
Legally, she's in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services until a judge decides where she will live permanently. She is currently staying with an aunt and uncle in nearby Williamson County.
"She is a very bright little girl," said Grey, who is the sister of Michelle Pinkowski's father. "I know in my heart that Michelle would want me to make sure that she's OK. She means as much to me as my Michelle. We just have to figure out what the best thing is for her."