Colorado

Mar 11, 2014 10:24 PM by Greg Dingrando

Mental health experts helping Canon City kids cope

CANON CITY - The investigation of a triple homicide in Canon City continues with many still wondering how and why a man would kill a mother and two young children.

Police said Jaacob Vanwinkle killed his ex-girlfriend Many Folsom along with her 5-year-old son Mason, and 9-year-old daughter Marissa.

The autopsy was expected to be complete on Tuesday, but it was pushed back to Wednesday. Vanwinkle is scheduled to make another court appearance on Wednesday as well.

Meanwhile the community is still struggling to deal with the loss, particularly some young kids who were friends and classmates of the young victims.

"My children are young so that have a hard time comprehending it," said Rosanna Byler.

And she said explaining it to them hasn't been easy.

"They've seen all the activity over the past few days so there's a lot of questions coming from them," said Byler.

Because of that local mental health experts have teamed up with the local schools

"We just don't have things like this happen which is great but when it does it does shake us," said Gwen Johnson with the West Central Mental Health Center.

Counselors flooded the schools with the main goal of helping the kids, but through some simple flyers its almost been just as helpful for parents

"Gotten some feedback from a couple principals saying it's been very positive with the information provided. Support has been comforting to parents and teachers to help get through this process," said Johnson.

Being there for the kids is the first part, but Johnson said knowing how to talk to them is crucial.

"You kind of want to let them lead the conversation. You don't want to make them talk, but if they want to, be available to answer questions and don't give too many details," said Johnson.

The other thing to keep in mind, is young kids might not want to talk right away. Johnson said it could take weeks for it to really hit some kids so parents should be prepared.

 

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