There are not words to comfort Vinnie and Melissa Murphy. There are not words to describe what happened to their family.
They have no words. How could they after their 19-year-old son Malik was charged with murder for killing his little brother and sister.
The incident happened October 17th.
“Malik’s life’s over,” said his mom Melissa Murphy. “With all that fight for him. Now, he’s going to spend the rest of his life in prison. We don’t even know how to begin to process that.”
Murphy described the weekend and the day before the attack as time filled with family fun.
“We had a good day as a family,” she said. “Malik was laughing, he looked like his old self. He was out there laughing, tackling, playing with everybody.”
It was the family’s last day with 5-year-old Sophia and 7-year-old Noah.
“I should’ve recorded it, I should’ve taken pictures,” Murphy said.
Murphy said the family was never afraid of Malik. He was sleeping in the family room with the little ones when the attack occurred.
“The monster that he was that night that did this to our children, to his own brother and sister, it wasn’t Malik. That’s what’s hard to come to terms with,” she said. “That’s what’s hard to rationalize. That’s what’s even hard to explain to people.”
Murphy described her oldest son kind, docile and yes, at times, depressed.
“Something really evil overtook that boy that night” she said. “It’s as if it was working in him for a while, it was just masked under depression and suicidal thoughts.”
The thoughts, the depression, have been brewing for a while the Murphys said, adding the family worked constantly to get him better.
“We feel a lot of anger, we feel a lot of sadness and we as a family have been battling Malik’s depression and his mental illness for four years,” Murphy said. “We really tried with him, all that counseling.”
Murphy said in August of 2015, Malik called police on himself, telling police he wanted to kill his parents while they were sleeping.
“He never lived back with us from August of 2015,” Murphy said. “They took him right up to Highlands (Behavioral Health System), he stayed there for almost a month, then he went into the Emily Griffith Center, lived there for 40 days, 30-45 days and then did the entire school year there. We are all keeping strong eyes on this boy. Knives, our kitchen knives were all put away. We were doing this because we took it seriously.”
What followed was in-patient treatment, therapy, medication. The family says they thought Malik was getting better. They hoped he was getting better.
Malik’s father Vinnie, who also survived being stabbed in the neck, said the family made numerous attempts to get the teen help, including finding him a job and helping enroll in college, to get his life on track.
But both parents say getting Malik help and finding out how he was doing, what he was saying in therapy, became harder, as he became an adult.
“My heart goes out to every family out there that has to deal with an 18-year-old child with any type of mental illness, because if these kids want to play games, they don’t sign release papers or us as parents,” Murphy said. “They live in our home, we drive them to these appointments, we wait in the lobbies for them, we drive them home. We’re cooking meals and (doing) their laundry for them. And they have the right to dictate their mental treatment?!! It’s wrong, but that’s a subject for another day. And that’s what we were fighting for two years. That right there.”
“I swear to God Almighty. Noah, Sophia and Vinnie suffered because of this,” Murphy said.
The family said the main reason they wanted to talk, is to encourage others not to give up on their loved ones. They never gave up on Malik, they said.
“We want to encourage families that are dealing with someone close to them with mental illness is to be proactive,” Vinnie Murphy, the children’s father said. “Be never-ending in their support.”
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