Seven deaths this year in St Lucie County due to domestic violence
St. Lucie County, Fl- Sheriff Ken Mascara shared that on December 23 at approximately 6:39 p.m., deputies were called to 3 Grand Camino Court in the Spanish Lakes Country Club community on the Turnpike Feeder Road in northern St. Lucie County.
“Once on scene, deputies found two individuals deceased from gunshot wounds and a third individual severely wounded, but still alive from a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” said Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.
According to the Sheriff, the deceased individuals were 84-year-old Rudolph Rehm (pictured) and his daughter, 58-year-old Renee Holland. The third victim/suspect was identified as 53-year-old Mark Holland. He was transported to a local hospital where he admitted for treatment. Then he was placed under protected custody with charges pending as the investigation took place. He was the husband of Renee and son-in-law of Rudolph.
“Last night, Mark Holland succumbed to his self-inflicted injuries and died,” Mascara said. “Tragically, this is the seventh death this year in our community with a connection to domestic violence.”
According to the Sheriff, on Wednesday, February 28, deputies found the bodies of 56-year-old Gabriele Reusch Legg and 70-year-old Gary Boice in their homes on Ash Avenue and Shelley Terrace. They were killed by Reusch-Legg’s nephew, Melvin “Chip” Anderson who later crashed his car and died of a heart-attack.
On Friday, August 24, 23-year-old Tania Wise and her unborn baby was found murdered. This was on Russo Road by Jose Soto Escalera, the father of Wise’s unborn baby.
And just four days later on Tuesday, August 28, 52-year-old Bonnie Hanks was killed by her live-in boyfriend, Jeffrey Alexander Yankowski
In 2016, the most recent year of collected data, 105,000 crimes of domestic violence were reported to Florida law enforcement resulting in 63,000 arrests.
1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of violence by an intimate partner, and intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
And, 72% of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner.
“Locally, in 2017, our agency responded to 605 calls for service that had a nexus to domestic violence,” Mascara said. “This year, that number has increased to 648 with six more days left in the year.”
According to the Sheriff, there are resources available. If you are a victim of domestic violence, Safe Space is our local shelter and service provider. You can call their 24-hour hotline at 800-500-1119. Also, 2-1-1 provides services for crisis intervention, suicide prevention, elder crisis and much more.
“If you know someone who is going through a difficult time, be it domestic violence, depression, or something else, be an advocate for them and get them help,” Mascara said. “It could save their life.”