My name is Kasia, I have two children from my previous marriage. Emanuel was 17 and Gabriela was 15 at the time. I got married to Robert in 2008. Everything looked, from the outside looking in, like a normal and healthy family and a regular marriage. When I delivered Zuzanka in November of 2010, we were so happy to have a beautiful and healthy child. As she grew older, I had to go back to work to support my family. So, we found a babysitter who would babysit when I had to go to work. Otherwise, my daughter or my son would babysit. As the days passed, Robert decided to bring his 74 year old father from Poland to the States in 2013. He needed a lot of care and I tried to balance all of my duties with him and the house but also be a happy mom. After a while, Robert started to not let me talk to my parents and my siblings because of some previous fights between us and them. So they did not have a chance to properly meet Zuzanka.
Over all, it was all good. As time passed by, things started to get worse and worse. As my daughter was growing, so were the problems at home. Robert and I started to never see eye to eye, he was never around, and before long my children started to complain. Zuzia, at the age of three, began to ask, “Daddy, why are you talking to mommy that way?”
As time went on, Robert began to take Zuzia away by having her sleep downstairs with him. He told me, “I had enough time with her during the day and the night was his time to spend with her by his side.”
It got to the point where we couldn’t maintain a normal conversation without arguing. I started to reach out and complain to friends and customers, but everyone told me it’d be okay. But they didn’t know him like I did, and they never saw this aggressive and possessive side of him. I decided it was time to tell him we needed to separate. He agreed to the idea and simply told me that if he was leaving, so was she. I took this comment as him implying that he was taking full custody.
On April 4th, 2014, I went to work as usual. I left for work, leaving Gabriela to babysit Zuzia for the morning. I got a phone call from Robert telling me that he was moving his belongings out. I told him that I had spoken to a divorce lawyer and that we had some things to discuss when I got home, he simply said, “Yes.”
Later that afternoon, I received a phone call from Gabriela, she sounded nervous. She began speaking quickly and saying something about Robert and Zuzia locked in a room and bloody footprints in the hallway. My only response was, “Call 9-1-1 now.”
I was in the middle of doing a customers hair, but I had to walk aside as I started crying and in a fit of frustration, punched a wall. My coworker told me to settle down and I told her that I couldn’t because something had happened to my angelic Zuzia. I began to frantically call my children and the family that I hadn’t spoken to in years, and I couldn’t get ahold of anyone. I was furious and helpless and after a while, I got a hold of my mom. She asked for my address and told me one of them will come and get me. I kept asking; “What happened? Where is Zuzanna? Did you see her? Please let me drive, let me see her.”
After two hours of waiting, they showed up and told me that the paramedics took Zuzanna out of the house and told my sister to follow them to Edwards hospital. So we rushed there.
Once we got to the hospital they sent us to a room. Doctor walked in, my first question was, “Where is Zuzanka?”
Doctor asked me to sit down and said, “She is dead.”
I asked again frantically, “What? Why? How? What the hell? Where is she? Where is he? Can I see her?!”
I started shaking and crying, punching the walls, walking in circles, kneeling up and down. My body was trembling with shock and my voice had abandoned me.
After a few minutes doctor answered, “He stabbed her in the heart and hung himself.”
I was shocked.
After a few minutes, I asked, “Can I see her? Where is she?”
Doctor: “She is in the room.”
Me: “Are they both in the same room?”
Doctor nodded : “Yes.”
Me: “How could that be? Take him out of there! He can’t be by her! She is mine, let me see her!”
Doctor: “I’m sorry but we can’t do that. We called a Polish priest, he will be here soon.”
I was furious and crying. I started walking back and forth again and shaking uncontrollably. My mind was racing and I felt helpless, broken, disheartened and crazed.
After a while, I noticed my father and mother were there too.
I grabbed my phone and dialed my best friend’s phone number, Zuzanna’s grandpa figure. His wife picked up and she told me that he was in bed. “He’s sick and sleeping.” I insisted to get him on the phone. I said, “Jerry, Zuzanka is dead. I’m at Edwards hospital. I need you here, please.”
All I heard back was a simple, “ok.”
He got there like 30 minutes later.
In the mean time, the priest arrived there too. I thought to myself angrily that he got to see Zuzanka but I wasn’t able to.
It was hard to cope with and process what had happened. One plus one was not equaling two. It all felt very surreal.
Next thing I knew, I was going to a police department in Woodridge. They all started apologizing and asking a bunch of questions.
My father in law was there too, I asked officers to get ahold of his family and have them get him. My mind was racing, I wasn’t allowed to go back home because no one would let me in. Police said it was taped off and closed for their investigation.
After like 3 hours of questioning, I was allowed to leave. I went to my parents’ home, and everyone was waiting there for me. I found out that the police had questioned my kids and my whole family. No one had told them that Zuzanka was dead. I was exhausted and felt really helpless telling them what I had learned at the hospital. We all hugged and cried. It was unbelievable.
I took my phone out again and texted all my contacts the same message:
“My husband stabbed my daughter in the heart and hung himself, I need help -Kasia”
Out of sheer exhaustion, we collapsed on mattresses.
The next morning, Emanuel got ahold of the DuPage County Health Department and took me there to see a counselor.
I was devastated.
At the same time, Emanuel agreed to go on channel 2 and 7 to give an interview.