Name: Christopher Melton
Died: June 4, 2010
Age at death: 18
Cause of death: Murder (Poisoned with carbon monoxide)
Location: Columbia, Maryland, USA
Everyone loved Christopher. Neighbors said he was a "sweet, sweet young man". His principal described him as "very sociable" and said Christopher was "a great kid… very caring and welcoming." His teacher at the life skills program he attended said that Christopher was the “most delightful, well-behaved child you ever knew." Christopher smiled easily, anytime anyone even looked at him.
But he had a troubled family. Christopher's mother and father were going through a messy divorce. His mother, who was overprotective and would not let anyone else get close to Christopher, had begun keeping him home from school. She was making unfounded accusations that her estranged husband was abusive. She was known to have poor control of her emotions. And she was considering suicide.
There were some warning signs that Christopher's mother was suicidal; friends and family urged her to seek treatment, but she would not enter the hospital and stopped taking her medication. When she killed herself, she chose to kill Christopher too. She filled a room with carbon monoxide gas, and she and Christopher died.
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