Woman donates backpacks to kids in honor of friend killed in murder-suicide

By Mary Claire Patton - Digital Content Curator

SAN ANTONIO - Dr. Casey Mitchell’s memory is being kept alive two years after her death thanks to her friend of more than 20 years, April Rheams.

Each summer Rheams hands out backpacks at the Bexar County Family Justice Center with a tag that reads, “A memory of Casey Mitchell,” followed by an inspirational phrase.

Rheams is aiming to break the stigma of domestic violence by empowering the youngest victims following the death of her friend.

Mitchell was killed in a murder-suicide March 11, 2016, after her husband shot her and then himself.

Mitchell never disclosed the details of her violent relationship with Rheams but did open up to her Bible study group just days before she was murdered.

"I think the only thing we can do is empower the victims and give them a voice and take the shame away and help them,” Rheams said.

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