Full Of The Devil: Eva Hobbs’ Battle With Her Son’s Mental Illness Ended in Her Bloody Bedroom; His Continues in a Jail Cell

Kris Hobbs, 36, son of Eva Hobbs, and Diane Wicker, 60, her lifelong friend, look through family photographs of Eva during a recent meeting at the Ledger Media Group office in Winter Haven. Hobbs' twin brother, Micah Hobbs, has been charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of their mother on March 9. (Michael Wilson/ The Ledger)

Kris Hobbs, 36, son of Eva Hobbs, and Diane Wicker, 60, her lifelong friend, look through family photographs of Eva during a recent meeting at the Ledger Media Group office in Winter Haven. Hobbs’ twin brother, Micah Hobbs, has been charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of their mother on March 9. (Michael Wilson/ The Ledger)

WINTER HAVEN | No one could have predicted the bloody bedroom that night, but Eva Hobbs had a bad feeling.

One can only imagine the tension swelling, the fear compiling, until finally, something snapped in a way it never had before.

Hobbs devoted her life, even her final hours, to taking care of her mentally ill son: going out after midnight into a cold night to take him pizza, making sure he had new clothes.

“If there was one thing anyone could say about (Eva), it’s that she loved her children,” said Jessica McLaughlin, Hobbs’ soon to be daughter-in-law. “Day or night, she was at that boy’s beck and call.”

Those efforts, had they been fruitful, might have saved her life.

Records acquired by The Ledger show Hobbs tried in vain to get police and mental health help for her son, Micah Hobbs, on March 8, but he wasn’t deemed a threat to himself or others.

Less than 12 hours later, police say Micah Hobbs stabbed his mother to death.

The rest of this article can be found here as it appeared on page A1 of The Ledger.

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Family Mourns Death of 2-Year-Old Hit by Truck in Bartow

Flowers and candles adorn the spot where 2-year-old Alex Menendez was hit and killed Monday in the Bartow Mobile Home Park. He is survived by his mother, father, and 7-year-old brother. | Miles Parks, The Ledger

Flowers and candles adorn the spot where 2-year-old Alex Menendez was hit and killed Monday in the Bartow Mobile Home Park. He is survived by his mother, father, and 7-year-old brother. | Miles Parks, The Ledger

BARTOW | A life lost less than three years after it began put tears in Odorico Menendez’s eyes.

“That was my son,” Menendez said. “That was my baby.”

Menendez’s distant brown eyes were tinted pink; his hand shook slightly as he pointed to the grassy spot where his son had played happily just a day before.

It now holds a candled memorial.

Alex Menendez was killed Monday night while riding his tricycle in the Bartow Mobile Home Park where his family lives. A pickup driven by Lorenzo Jimenez-Guillen, 53, backed into the 2-year-old as he rode, in clear view of his mother, Micaelina Garcia-Escamilla.

Garcia-Escamilla took Alex and his older brother, 7-year-old Alexis, out to play in front of their home about 6 p.m. Monday, Menendez said. Menendez and Garcia-Escamilla have been married for eight years.

Alex was excited to jump on his black-and-red tricycle, and when given the chance, he sped up the block away from his mom.

He got less than 30 feet when the Toyota truck began to back out of the driveway.

Garcia-Escamilla immediately realized what was about to occur, Menendez said.

“She ran over, she yelled, ‘No! No! No!,'” Menendez said. “But he couldn’t hear. The windows were up.”

The initial crash didn’t kill the boy, Menendez said, but the truck rolled over him again as it shifted direction and went forward immediately after.

The Mexican consulate is helping with the family’s attempts to get the boy’s body shipped back to Hidalgo, Mexico, where the family lived before moving to Bartow 10 years ago.

Anna Lopez, 36, a neighbor, said police were at the scene until about 9 p.m. Monday as residents of the park coped with the crash.

“It was devastating,” Lopez said. “People were in shock.”

Menendez said his family will probably move back to Mexico soon because of the tragedy.

“I just want to go home,” he said.

This article can be found online here as it was originally published on page B1 of The Ledger.