When one State Trooper had to break the news that a couple – Donald and Crystal Howard – had been killed, he knew it was just part of his job.
However, for Nathan Bradley, discovering he would have to tell four kids that both their parents had died changed his life.
He refused to tell the kids on Halloween, wanting them to have one last night before their world changed forever, and even took them to get McDonald’s for dinner.
Bradley spent the night with the kids, aged between 6 and 13, after their grandmother was too distressed to make the seven hour drive to collect them and break the news herself.
Bradley took the kids to spend the night at the Barracks, and waited for their grandmother to arrive.
Not only would these children discover they lost both parents, but would spend their Halloween in a county jail until somebody could tend to them; it just wasn’t right.
My mind is constantly running. It has scarred me. It has. Very rarely do you have to do this to four kids.
He (one of the children, Justin) hugged me so tight I could him squeezing me through my vest. I asked him how he was holding up, and he said, ‘I’m doing the best I can, but why does it have to be both parents?’ I said, ‘That’s a question I can’t answer.
The grandmother arrived and he added:
She was crying the whole time …but the children were looking at it as tears of joy.
She was so happy to see that last bit of innocence in them before tragedy struck.
The situation is utterly tragic, and Bradley set up a GoFundMe Page after hearing the cost of transporting the bodies back to Florida and holding a funeral would be $7,000.
So far the page has raised over $360,000, which is small comfort but can at least alleviate some of the pressure on the kids.
Bradley meanwhile is undoubtedly a hero.