Father Issues Statement After Son, Estranged Wife Found Dead in Garage

August 28, 2019 Updated: August 28, 2019

The father of a 6-year-old Texas boy who was found dead along with his deceased mother in an apparent murder-suicide released a statement.

On the evening of Aug. 23, Phillip Oliver “Ollie” Wiedemann, 6, and his 46-year-old mother, Candace Rochelle Harbin, were both found dead inside a minivan in a parking garage, the Waxahachie Police Department said.

“Ollie was an amazing young boy who cared about people. He always wanted to make others happy and if ever a classmate was having a tough day, he would reach out to help them,” John Wiedemann, his father, said in his statement obtained by Dallas-area news outlet WFAA on Aug. 26. “He loved swimming, Legos and superheroes, but most of all he loved going to school. Our hearts are broken and may never be whole again.”

Harbin was described in media outlets as the estranged wife of Wiedemann.

Hours before they were found, Wiedemann reported his son missing. Ollie was last seen at a vape store in Waxahachie with Harbin.

“We thank the Waxahachie Police Department and other first responders who helped search for Ollie. We want to thank the Ellis County District Court for seamlessly processing the paperwork that enabled the Amber Alert system to be activated. We also want to thank the Ellis County community and all others who have sent prayers and thoughts,” Wiedemann also said, according to CBS DFW.

He added, “Nothing can be said or done that will bring Ollie back and we ask for privacy as we grieve. As there is an ongoing investigation, we ask that further requests and comments be directed to the Waxahachie Police Department.”

According to the Dallas Morning News, police issued an Amber Alert when they couldn’t find Harbin or Ollie. Harbin didn’t have custody of the child.

Meanwhile, CBS DFW reported that court documents revealed concerns were raised about Ollie’s safety. A custody agreement showed that Harbin and her ex-husband said her visits with the child were supposed to be supervised.

The report noted that she had a history of mental health issues. Two places she had lived in in the past eight years had burned down.

What’s more, the woman’s brother, James Berkeley Harbin II, was convicted in 1991 for murdering their father. He was sentenced to life in prison before being paroled, the Morning News noted.

A memorial with toys and stuffed animals was created for Ollie near where his body was found, and a vigil occurred Aug. 24 in Waxahachie, the Waxahachie Daily Light reported.

Facts About Crime in the United States

Violent crime in the United States has fallen sharply over the past 25 years, according to both the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) (pdf).

The rate of violent crimes fell by 49 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI’s UCR, which only reflects crimes reported to the police.

The violent crime rate dropped by 74 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the BJS’s NCVS, which takes into account both crimes that have been reported to the police and those that have not.

The FBI recently released preliminary data for 2018. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2018, violent crime rates in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.

While the overall rate of violent crime has seen a steady downward drop since its peak in the 1990s, there have been several upticks that bucked the trend. Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate increased by more than 20 percent, to 5.4 per 100,000 residents, from 4.4, according to an Epoch Times analysis of FBI data. The last two-year period that the rate soared so quickly was between 1966 and 1968.

Missing Children

There were 464,324 missing children reported in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center in 2017, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Under federal law, when a child is reported missing to law enforcement, they must be entered into the database. In 2016, there were 465,676 entries.

“This number represents reports of missing children. That means if a child runs away multiple times in a year, each instance would be entered into NCIC separately and counted in the yearly total. Likewise, if an entry is withdrawn and amended or updated, that would also be reflected in the total,” the center noted.

In 2017, the center said it assisted officers and families with the cases of more than 27,000 missing children. In those cases, 91 percent were endangered runaways, and 5 percent were family abductions.

About one in seven children reported missing to the center in 2017 were likely victims of child sex trafficking.