Kelsey Marie Roberts
11 Years Old

November 22, 1993 to August 5,2005

“Spirited”. If I could use one word to describe my only child, this is the word I would choose. Kelsey Marie Roberts was born at 5:05 PM on Monday, November 22, 1993. I will never forget seeing her for the first time in the delivery room. I exclaimed “look at all of that hair!” as she was entering this world. Kelsey was born with dark brown hair and brown eyes. She was my pride and joy. I loved her with all my heart. I spent as much time with Kelsey as I could so that I could be the best father possible. I loved to carry her on my shoulders until she became too heavy to lift over my head. She liked to hold my hand when we walked in the mall or across a parking lot. Kelsey was a very active girl who enjoyed playing with her toys, reading, watching television, going to the park, shopping at the mall, and playing with her friends. I taught her how to ride a bicycle without using the training wheels. Kelsey learned how to use my laptop computer and would play computer games or create artwork. She even beat me at chess a few times. Kelsey was also a great photographer, and took some amazing pictures when she and I took a vacation the week before she was murdered. I use some of the pictures as wallpapers on my computer. Kelsey liked outdoor activities. She enjoyed going to the park and feeding the ducks that congregated in and around the pond. She also like to play hide and seek around the playground equipment. We had lots of fun giggling while we each tried to get to “base” first. I took Kelsey fishing for the first time four months before she was killed. She was thrilled to catch her first fish, a perch. A few months later, she caught four bass while fishing with her grandfather and me. Fishing became one of our favorite daddy/daughter activities. Kelsey enjoyed listening to music and dancing. Kelsey began taking dance lessons when she was four years old. She first learned ballet, tap, and jazz, and switched to ‘hip hop’ dancing in 5th grade. Her favorite radio station was Radio Disney. Usher, Christina Aguilera, Hilary Duff, Beyoncé, and Kelly Clarkson were some of her favorite performers. Some of Kelsey’s favorite TV shows were Lizzie McGuire, That’s So Raven, Kim Possible, Spongebob Squarepants, and Jimmy Neutron. Kelsey loved to laugh, so she enjoyed watching funny movies such as Shrek, Napoleon Dynamite, The Incredibles, Holes, The Parent Trap, and Toy Story. Kelsey loved animals, especially kittens, but her only pet was a tadpole that she rescued from a neighborhood fountain. She named her pet Brad the Tadpole and took good care of it for the three weeks that it lived, and was heartbroken when she discovered that Brad had died. Kelsey wrote a short story about Brad as a 5th grade school assignment. Kelsey was a good student, having made the A/B honor roll every semester. Her most favorite subjects were spelling (she was twice selected to participate in her school’s spelling bee), science, and math. Kelsey expressed interest in becoming a veterinarian or a police officer. Kelsey was a very outgoing girl and made friends easily. Her cousins, neighbors, and classmates enjoyed spending time with her. At bedtime, Kelsey would say a prayer and then tell God how she made a difference that day. I believed it was important for Kelsey to reach out to others in times of need. I also believed that it was important for Kelsey to learn the value of money as well as the importance of saving money, since she liked to take her allowance and birthday money and spend it at the mall (mainly at Claire’s). Kelsey wanted an Ipod shuffle, so I promised her that she could have one if she saved half of the purchase price. After Kelsey was killed, I found her wallet. Inside was $20 and a handwritten note around the bills. The note read “DO NOT SPEND THIS MONEY" on one side, and “Saving for Ipod mini lime green” on the other side. I am confident that Kelsey would have saved enough money to buy the Ipod. It’s a shame that she never got the chance. Four months before Kelsey was killed, she met the reigning Miss Texas and received an autographed picture from her. Miss Texas wrote “Kelsey, never give up on your dreams.” Sadly, the opportunity for Kelsey to pursue her dreams was violently taken from her on Friday, August 5, 2005. My heart aches, not only for Kelsey, but for all of her relatives, friends, and classmates. We will cherish the memories that we have of Kelsey, but will always wonder “why” and “what if.” Kelsey is no longer physically with us, but her spirit will live on in those who knew her. Remember Kelsey.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

Friday, August 5, 2005 is a day that I will never forget. At 7 AM, shortly before I had to leave my home for work, I received a phone call from my ex-wife (I filed for divorce in February 2005 after twelve years of marriage) who informed me that my daughter Kelsey was not feeling well and would not be going to daycare. Kelsey’s mother and I had agreed to a joint custody arrangement during our mediation hearing the previous month. Kelsey spent alternating weeks with her mother and me. I was to pick up Kelsey from her mother’s home at 6 PM that evening. I had planned to take Kelsey to a baseball game. Kelsey was also supposed to meet her 6th grade homeroom teacher that day. The following Monday was the first day of school.

When I arrived at my ex-wife’s house, I called her cell phone and rang the door bell, but she did not answer. I called one of my ex-wife’s friends who happened to have a key to the house. The friend arrived about 6:40 PM. She requested that I stay inside my car while she entered the house . She came back outside about two minutes later with an ashen look on her face. The friend instructed me to call 911. I rushed to the house while I waited to be connected to the 911 operator. I gave my phone to the friend and went inside the house to look for Kelsey. I found my daughter lying face-up in the doorway of her bedroom. Her eyes were closed, but her face still seemed to have color in it, so I believed that she was unconscious. I did not know where my ex-wife was. The 911 operator told the friend and me to leave the house and wait for the police to arrive. The friend and I said prayers and waited for what seemed to be about 15 minutes (it was actually only three minutes, as I learned later) before I could hear the first sirens. My ex-wife was eventually brought out of the house on a stretcher. Her eyes were closed. I continued to wait for Kelsey to also be taken out of the house, but the chaplain for the police department informed me that Kelsey was dead.

I learned that my ex-wife had smothered Kelsey with a bed sheet. The toxicology report also detected traces of Ambien in Kelsey’s bloodstream. The time of death was estimated at between 12:30 PM and 3:30 PM. My ex-wife had used a kitchen knife to carve a five-sentence suicide note into the top of her dining room table. She also took a large quantity of sleeping pills and slit one of her wrists. When the police arrived, they found my ex-wife in her bed asleep. My ex-wife was taken to a local hospital and remained in an unconscious state for almost a week. When she regained consciousness, she was transported to the county jail. She was put on trial for murder in July 2006 and was found guilty. She is serving an 80-year prison sentence and will be eligible for parole in 2035, when she will be 79 years old (if she lives that long). My ex-wife has never spoken publicly about what she did. She did not speak during or after her trial.

back to 27

Kelsey Marie Roberts