Family of father whose daughter was killed in Jefferson Co. murder/suicide releases statement

BY LEAH THORSEN
9/10/12

JEFFERSON COUNTY • The family of Christoper Ehlen, whose estranged girlfriend killed his daughter and her two other daughters from a previous marriage last week before committing suicide, released a statement Monday thanking the community for their support and stating that he had tried to prevent the girls from emotional and physical harm.

Authorities say Lisa Cochran shot each of her daughters — Alyssa Cochran, 11, Autumn Cochran, 10, and Faith Ehlen, 22 months — in the head and then killed herself with a shotgun she had purchased a week earlier.

A visitation for Alyssa Cochran, 11, Autumn Cochran, 10, and Faith Ehlen, 22 months, is set from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Heiligtag-Lang-Fendler Funeral Home at 1081 Jeffco Boulevard in Arnold. Their funeral will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

Cochran, 32, had an order of protection against Ehlen. She killed her daughters and herself outside his house. She “couldn’t take it any more,” according to an email she sent about 8 p.m. Wednesday to Ehlen and other family members. The subject line of the email was “goodbye.”

Ehlen told deputies he found Cochran’s vehicle parked in his driveway about 12:30 a.m. Thursday when he arrived at his home in the 14000 block of Wilson Hollow Road in rural De Soto, near the Washington County line. He called deputies who found the girls’ bodies inside the vehicle. Their dead mother was on the front steps.

Family members of Cochran’s ex-husband, Vincent Cochran, said she had a history of mental instability and previously had threatened suicide.

Here is the statement released by Jerry and Amy Ehlen, Christoper Ehlen’s brother and sister-in-law:

“The Ehlen family thanks the community for their outpouring of support in this time of overwhelming grief. Chris Ehlen loved and cared for each of these wonderful girls — Faith, his daughter, and Alyssa and Autumn, girls from Lisa’s previous marriage. These girls were his delight. His love for these girls was visible for those who saw the tenderness, time and financial support he poured into these innocent, beautiful girls.

“By following the decision of the court, with no evidence of wrongdoing other than hearsay from a woman not emotionally stable, he was not allowed to further protect Faith, Autumn, and Alyssa. Instead, he was alleged to be a potential threat to the children rather than the truth of the matter, which was that he was trying to prevent emotional and physical harm.

“Words cannot describe the tremendous hole left in the lives of the Ehlen family and friends with the loss of these wonderful girls who were taken too soon. Our prayers are with the other St. Louis familes who have suffered similar losses.”

Lisa Cochran was the third mother in the St. Louis area to fatally shoot her children and then commit suicide in the last six months.

Source: STLtoday