Crisis In The Family Courts

HUSBAND WHO MURDERED CHILD: According to police, Mark Resch's apparent motive was revenge against his estranged wife.

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/201002140500/NEWS01/2140327

GREECE — A Greece man who killed his son and himself Friday was receiving counseling but had lost hope, his mother said.

Carol Gurgel said she’d urged her son, Mark P. Resch, to seek help, and he’d met with a counselor in the days before he killed his 7-year-old son Hunter and then fatally shot himself.

“I was in contact with him every day. I knew he was overwhelmed with it all,” Gurgel said. Resch had lost his job and his car at the beginning of the year, and learned recently that his wife was seeking a divorce.

“Just these last couple of days … he’d kind of given up,” Gurgel said. She said Resch, a recovering alcoholic, had been telling relatives not to bother worrying about him.

“He’s a very generous, gentle kind person,” Gurgel said. “But he did have mental issues.”

According to police, Mark Resch’s apparent motive was revenge against his estranged wife.

"There was an ongoing domestic dispute, and this act was definitely a very spiteful, very aggressive act," said Greece Police Chief Todd Baxter. "This person was a mean person and was doing this pure out of spite."

According to a statement released Saturday by the Greece Central School District, Hunter T. Resch, 7, was a first-grader at Paddy Hill Elementary School on Latta Road. The district will offer counseling for students and their parents.

In a written statement, Hunter T. Resch’s teacher, Cathy Carpenter, said he was a wonderful child and was well-liked.

"He loved to learn and explore and was so excited to be with his friends," she said.

Police were called to the yellow-clapboard house on Island Cottage Road about 7:30 p.m. Friday, alerted by a 911 call from Hunter T. Resch’s mother asking that they check on the welfare of her son, who was staying with his father as part of a court-ordered visitation.

Baxter said the woman was alarmed by a phone conversation she’d just had with her estranged husband, who told her "you’ll never make it here in time" to pick up the boy.

Baxter said the woman had left her husband on Jan. 25, the same day she secured a temporary order of protection against him in Monroe County Family Court for alleged threats against her life.

 

As part of that order, the man was prohibited from owning any guns, so police removed one shotgun from the Island Cottage Drive home at that time.

The man denied owning any others.

Baxter said police were investigating to see how the man got hold of the shotgun used in the killings.

On Monday, Baxter said, Family Court had issued a permanent restraining order against the man. The order included visitation with his son on some weekdays and alternate weekends, he said.

After the 911 call, police arrived at the home within six minutes. Through a front window, they could see a severely injured child on a couch in the living room.

In an effort to save the boy, officers immediately entered the house, where they found the man dead of a gunshot wound just inside the back door. The child was also dead.

Baxter said police found a long note, written over more than a week, that outlined the man’s plan to kill his son.

He would not discuss details of the note, which he called "five or six pages of a lot of hate, anger and spite," but said it proved the act was premeditated.

"He thought about this for more than a week, with no indication to us, his wife or the courts," said Baxter. "He talked about how he was going to do it, and our investigation reveals that he pretty much carried out his plan in how he did it. That kid had no chance."

Police held debriefing and counseling sessions for involved officers and the victim’s family on Saturday.

Christopher and Cheryl Irick of Island Cottage Road awoke Saturday to news of the murder-suicide. The couple said they never knew Resch or his family and that the neighborhood has always been quiet.

"That’s one of the things that attracted us to here," said Christopher Irick. "And the fact that this happened across from the police station makes it even more shocking. It’s such an incredibly sad story."

Calling hours for Hunter T. Resch will be from 2 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at Vay – Schleich & Meeson Funeral Home, 1075 Long Pond Road, Greece. A service will be held at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 3003 Dewey Ave.

MCDERMOT@DemocratandChronicle.com

Includes reporting by staff writers Chad Roberts, Ernst Lamothe and Gary McLendon.

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