Humanity never fails to impress, even when confronted with such dreadful situations. In 2019, a three-year-old girl became a hero for taking care of her three-year-old brother for three days. The siblings were abandoned after their father shot their mother before turning the gun on himself. After the parent’s murder-suicide, the kids were trapped in the house until help arrived.
“Our little angel was able to keep herself and her brother alive,” said Los Angeles police Capt. Maureen Ryan at a press conference. “The baby is a miracle baby, and the little girl is a hero. She’s an absolute hero.”
Baby and Toddler Survive Parent’s Murder-Suicide
Police identified the parents as 46-year-old David Kooros Parsa and 38-year-old Mihoko Koike. After the murder-suicide in April 2019, the children remained trapped in their home for three days. The entire time, the little girl managed to keep herself and her infant brother alive.
Three days later, a couple who lived nearby became concerned when police officers came to the house for a welfare check at 9 a.m. However, they left without entering the home. It’s unlikely they saw and spoke with the little girl. David Parsa’s father, Dr. Kooros Parsa, had called this welfare check. He was aware of his son’s issues with mental health and was concerned about his family. So after the police left, the couple, Olivia and James Robinson, went to check on the children themselves, accompanied by a locksmith.
James Robinson found the girl on the main floor and then the boy upstairs. “I begged him not to go back in there, but he went back in there because they wanted to find the baby,” said Olivia. She described the girl as being in a “bad condition” and “reeked really bad of urine.” But that wasn’t the most unnerving part. “And she had more of a blank stare on her face. She was very, very quiet.” Both children were hungry and dehydrated.
James Robinson realized something was wrong when the girl said the parents were “sleeping,” but that they were “upstairs and they’re hurt.” James said, “Right there, we figured it’s just not good.”
“They’re going to have fun”
Another neighbor, Tony Medina, brought the kids to his home and gave them food until the police arrived. “She heard her mom crying,” Medina said about the girl. “And then what really was kind of heart-wrenching was when she said she saw ‘mommy was broken.’”
According to the LAPD, the kids went into the care of child welfare officials. According to the grandfather, relatives in Texas adopted them. “He passed away; he’s in heaven or wherever he is,” said the 82-year-old oncology specialist about the parent’s murder-suicide.
“They’re such depressing issues, even the coroner said it. The kids have already been adopted by my cousin, my brother’s son, in Texas. They’re going to have fun. What’s gone is gone, but what’s here is the kids.“
When the police had arrived, they found the parents’ bodies in the bedroom. Apparently, the father had shot the mother while she lay in bed.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one-third of homicides in West Virginia are related to domestic violence. In the United States, 72% of murder-suicide cases include a romantic partner; additionally, 94% of the victims are women.
Remember, domestic violence isn’t just physical violence; it could be emotional or verbal abuse. Warning signs could include wearing more than usual makeup, baggy clothes, constant alertness, and the inability to relax.
Murder-Suicide and Domestic Violence
“Domestic abuse can take a serious, emotional toll, creating a sense of hopelessness and despair that they will never escape,” said Alicia Williamson from the Ohio Domestic Violence Network. For those who see warning signs in anyone that they know, Williamson encourages them to safely intervene if it’s possible.
“Listen and offer confidentiality,” she said. “Listen without judging, and it’s important because survivors often don’t have anyone to talk to. It’s not easy, but it’s the best support you can give, and we ask the community to stay engaged, stay committed, to being that critical lifeline of safety for someone.” 
In a more recent case, Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney Rachel Romano handles domestic violence situations regularly from minor cases to felony charges. She recommends offering a safe escape plan, because often when victims try to reach out, it’s already too late. “The best thing we can do if we know about these situations is help them develop a safety plan, help them understand some things that they can do to alert their neighbors if that’s their confidante or their mother, that I’m in a real bad situation right now and I need quick help.”
- “’Hero’ girl kept baby brother alive after parents’ apparent murder-suicide.” ABC News. Morgan Winsor. April 26, 2019
- “’Hero’ Girl, 4, Kept Her Baby Brother Alive for 3 Days After Parents’ Murder-Suicide.” People. Harriet Sokmensuer. April 26, 2019
- “A ‘hero’ 3-year-old girl kept her baby brother alive for as long as 3 days after their parents’ apparent murder-suicide.” Insider. Beatrice Christofaro. April 26, 2019
- “Murder-suicide of two young girls by father shines spotlight on domestic violence.” WDTN. Jennifer Bullock. January 3, 2021.
- “Apparent murder-suicide brings a conversation in regards to domestic violence.” WDTV. Veronica Ogbe. January 5, 2021