CAÑON CITY, Colo. - The hearts of the Cañon City community are aching, but people are hoping to heal each other.
Police say a mother and two of her children were murdered in their home on Sunday night (3/9/14). It happened around 8:00 p.m. on the 1100 block of Phay Avenue near St. Thomas More Hospital.
Mandy Folsom, her five-year-old boy Mason, and nine-year-old daughter Marissa were killed.
Police arrested 31-year-old Jaacob Vanwinkle as the suspect. Officers say he was a friend of the mother's and was staying at the family's home. Vanwinkle faces charges of first degree murder, kidnapping and sexual assault.
According to court documents, a judge sentenced Vanwinkle to 18 months in jail in 2012 for third degree assault. The paperwork shows Vanwinkle pleaded guilty assaulted his then 22-year-old pregnant girlfriend. The jail said it was too busy Tuesday to tell KRDO NewsChannel 13 when he was released.
Young Mason and Marissa went to Washington Elementary. School counselors started working with students on Tuesday to begin the healing process. Although Vanwinkle is behind bars, parents and friends of the family say they don't feel safe.
"My two-year-old daughter can sense something's wrong when I can't let her go play at the park anymore. You have to be right there all the time. It's a sick feeling," said Washington Elementary parent Paige Michlich.
"You think you're moving to a safer place, I guess you're not. I'm at a loss for words. I don't get it. I don't understand," said friend of the family Brandy Grandon.
A candlelight vigil was held Tuesday night at the First Southern Baptist Church for the Folsom family.