Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Some know, too well, a police widow's pain

TAMPA — Cindy Roberts' phone rang Monday morning with news of the St. Petersburg police shootings. Her mind flashed to Aug. 19, 2009, the day her husband, Tampa police Cpl. Mike Roberts, was killed on duty.

In Odessa, Vickie Childers-Metzler monitored her television for the St. Petersburg officers' conditions. When she learned two men died, she felt ill. She pictured her late husband's face, though it has been nearly 13 years since the death of Tampa police Detective Ricky Childers.

"You get a big surge of that initial grief," she said.

The pain of losing an on-duty spouse in a criminal act is like no other pain, Roberts said.

Few understand it like the families of other fallen officers.

She keeps in touch with Kelly Curtis and Sara Kocab, whose husbands, both Tampa police officers, were killed June 29.

"And now, unfortunately, I will have two other cohorts in St. Petersburg," Roberts said.

Childers-Metzler knows the widows' grief will be intense and long-lasting. She's learned how to cope, but after Hank Earl Carr killed her husband, she isolated herself and was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

"You get up one morning and, in minutes, your whole world collapses," she said. "You're totally off-balance, and you go through desperation, thinking, 'No, that can't be true.'

"It's a horrible, horrible time. My heart goes out to them."

Times news researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Some know, too well, a police widow's pain 01/24/11 [Last modified: Monday, January 24, 2011 8:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  2. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday

    Bucs

    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  3. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter

    Blogs

    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle
  4. Death toll, humanitarian crisis grow in Puerto Rico

    World

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A humanitarian crisis grew Saturday in Puerto Rico as towns were left without fresh water, fuel, power or phone service following Hurricane Maria's devastating passage across the island.

    Crew members assess electrical lines in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on Friday in Puerto Rico. Mobile communications systems are being flown in but “it’s going to take a while.”
  5. N. Korea says strike against U.S. mainland is 'inevitable'

    World

    North Korea's foreign minister warned Saturday that a strike against the U.S. mainland is "inevitable" because President Donald Trump mocked leader Kim Jong Un with the belittling nickname "little rocketman."