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Vance County Family Grieves Over Loss Of Loved One

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VANCE COUNTY — Losing a parent is devastating to any child, but losing a parent to murderis a trauma that can affect a child's entire life.

Donna Bills is raising her niece and fournephews. She took them in after her sister, DanaRobinson, was killed.

"I can give them the love. I can give themthe nurturing," she says. "I can give them the kisses andI can give them the hugs, but the one thingI can't give them is their mother. That'swhat they want so desperately."

Last month, four children saw their mother murdered in their Vance Countyhome. She was shot seven times by their father who then killed himself infront of the kids.

"They have a lot of hostility. They have alot of anger and a lot of fears," Bills says. "It's very hard forme to address them in the proper manner because I don't know how."

"There are no programs available to help children that have been orphanedthrough domestic violence," says Damita Robinson, Dana's sister-in-law.

Through the Victim's Compensation Act, the children only got money to payfor the funeral and a limited amount of counseling. Sen. Allen Wellons(D-Johnston) says the state needs to do even more for its youngestvictims.

"All five children are orphans because ofdomestic violence. We need to make sure thatthese victims get priority," he says.

For now, Bills takes the children's recovery one hurdle at atime. Mother's Day is the next big one.

"This year, I have to take them to the cemetery to see their mother. I'mnot ready for it, and they're not ready for it," she says.

If you would like to help the family, you can make donations to:

The Dana Robinson/Taylor Children TrustBB&T Bank213 North Chestnut StreetHenderson, North Carolina 27536

A similar incident occurred early Tuesday morning in Clinton.Police say Keith Bradshaw shot his 29-year-old wife Karen and then killed himself.Both were prison guards.

The couple's three children were in anotherroom of the house at the time of the shootings.

 Credits

Amanda Lamb, Reporter
Edward Wilson, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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