When police arrived at the apartment of Marisol Rodriguez, 32, and Vicente Rivadeneira-Torres, 36, they found the couple on the bedroom floor, both of them had been stabbed.
According to investigators, Rodriguez had been stabbed three times in the chest, twice in the back, and five times in the neck. The knife was sticking out of her husband, Rivadeneira-Torres' chest.
Police rushed to the home after callers to 911 claimed there was a domestic disturbance.
One of those callers was the couples' daughter, who would turn 11 just a week later.
According to police, the daughter saw the argument start from her bedroom.
Investigators say Rivadeniera-Torres accused Rodriguez of cheating on him. Their verbal argument escalated into a physical altercation.
Things fell further out of control when Rodriguez threw a glass jar and struck Rivadeneira-Torres in the back of the head with it. That's when investigators say, he went to the kitchen and got a knife.
When he followed Rodriguez into the bedroom, the couples' daughter grabbed a high-heeled shoe, ran up behind him and hit him in the head with it. Then she ran for help.
What happened after that is unclear, save for the result. Rodriguez died, and Rivadeneira-Torres needed medical attention.
This is not the first time Rodriguez and Rivadeneira-Torres have had a physical confrontation. In 2012 he was convicted of battering her.
Rivadeneira-Torres has had trouble with the law five times since 2008.
Diane Chrestman is a therapist familiar with the trauma domestic violence can cause. She says the trauma the children have endured is something that will require therapy.
"For example, she might get to a point where she blames mom," said Chrestman. "You know, she blames mom for staying in that relationship and feels angry towards her mother, and then the confusion about mom was the victim but yet I feel angry at mom. It just creates this turmoil of emotional wreckage."
Emotional wreckage created by domestic violence will effect one in four women and one in seven men, according to the organization Partnership for Domestic Violence.
Last year PDV helped more than 5,000 people caught in domestic violence situations in Fulton and Gwinnett counties.
They sheltered 566 women and children in their two shelter facilities; one with 55 beds, the other with 41. Their shelters are the biggest in the state.
No one knows why Rodriguez stayed with Rivadeneira-Torres, but it was a decision that likely cost the woman her life and has altered her children's lives forever.
"If you have children in this situation, that are observing it, just know that it's changing who they are," said Chrestman.
The couple's 2-year-old daughter was also at the apartment at the time of the stabbing. She was sleeping in another room.
Both children are staying with their grandmother until DFCS can determine where they will stay permanently.
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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