CHESAPEAKE, Va. — “Daddy, daddy, what are you doing?”
Those were the last words a Chesapeake, Va., mother heard over the phone before her 11-year-old daughter was killed. A close family friend told those details to WTKR.
Police say 11-year-old Tasha Jonas was shot by her father, 49-year-old John Jonas, who then turned the gun on himself.
A neighbor found the bodies outside their home near Fort Knox where John Jonas served as an Army lieutenant colonel.
“This definitely could have been prevented,” said Tanja Manojlovic, a friend of Tasha’s mother, Karina Jonas.
Manojlovic said she has known Tasha and Karina Jonas for 10 years.
“Besides a tremendous amount of grief, there’s an overwhelming amount of anger,” Manojlovic said.
Anger because she believes this happened over a custody battle. Manojlovic said Tasha moved with her father from Suffolk to Kentucky two years ago. And ever since, she said Karina fought to get Tasha back.
“Karina was fighting to tell the lawyers, the judges, the school, the social services,” she said.
A hearing was even scheduled for August, where Manojlovic said Tasha could choose which parent she wanted to live with.
“When it’s all said and done, we all look back and feel like we’ve all betrayed her in some level,” she said. “The system has betrayed her.”
Police have not confirmed a motive and are still waiting on autopsy results. However, loved ones say those results won’t bring Tasha back.
“It hits home,” said Rachel Given, who worked with Karina. “Somebody personal, somebody you’ve known for eight years, watching her grow up and then now nothing. She won’t grow up.”
Family friends have organized a GoFundMe page to raise money needed to bring Tasha back home to Virginia.