Michael Williams recalled the life of his daughter April Vann exclusively to NewsChannel 15 and the relationship that led to her death.
April was killed Friday, October 29 when her estranged husband Eric Vann shot her in the head in the laundry room of her own home. He then turned the gun on himself.
April had been running a daycare at the time. Seven kids under the age of six were around the home at the time of the murder-suicide. Williams told NewsChannel 15 April had re-filed no contact papers toward Eric the day before the incident.
Williams said April told the kids at the daycare if they ever saw Eric around the home, to go in the neighbor's house and tell them to call the police. Police said just before 2:00 Friday, Eric hopped the fence in April's backyard, walked in the back door, locked it behind him, and approached April in the laundry room. Without saying a word, he put the barrel of the gun to his estranged wife's nose and pulled the trigger. He immediately put the barrel of the gun to the side of his head and pulled the trigger.
The kids saw Eric walk through the back door, but didn't go to the neighbor's house first. A few of them, including April's four-year-old son, instead crawled through the doggy door of April's house to round up the rest of the kids and "help April." Williams said the children didn't see the murder-suicide, but his grandson told him he saw "mommy's nose bleeding."
This wasn't the first time Eric had fired a gun in the home. Williams said domestic issues started when April went to a parent-teacher conference.
"One of the mothers that she babysits for told her that he was having an affair with one of the other mothers that she babysat for," said Williams. "That's when she decided she was going to end it."
The relationship took a turn for the worse in September, when April told Eric it was over. Eric said he was going to kill himself, but this time he only fired a gun through an upstairs window. The 34-year-old was arrested and charged with one count of using a weapon while intoxicated, and two counts of operating a vehicle under the influence.
The dangers Eric posed to both April and her family became even more real inside a Mercer County courtroom after April told the judge, she feared for her safety.
"When she said that to the judge, Eric turned around and looked at her and I and mouthed the words, 'You're dead,'" said Williams. "I think from right then April knew that if he ever got out, he would kill her."
In September, the judge approved no-contact papers between the Celina couple. Later, April had the judge allow limited visitation so her estranged husband could babysit her kids while she took online classes. But Williams said Eric started harassing April by calling at all hours of the night.
The day before she was killed, April re-filed no contact papers. She started telling her family more about her daily routine, leaving clues that led her family to believe she knew her time was coming.
"She was telling her oldest son that if she ever died she wanted to be cremated and her ashes sprinkled in the Pacific Ocean with a pod of blue whales," said Williams.
Williams said he feared for his life during an encounter two days before his daughter was killed. He got a knock on his door early in the morning and thought it was Eric. The Rockford man grabbed a gun, told his wife to lock the door behind him and call 911 if she heard gunshots. Williams didn't find anything. After his daughter was killed, he found out April's grandfather had the same thing happen early Wednesday morning.
"We honestly feel that it was Eric trying to fulfill his promise on killing April's family one by one," said Williams.
Click here for the original story on the nightmare that happened on South Elm Street in Celina, Ohio.
The family is setting up a trust fund for April's three kids. Any gifts can be mailed to:
3865 Wilson Road
Rockford, Ohio 45882