Mother of murdered Ashtabula 13-year-old committed suicide

Investigators say John Bove, who led officers on a chase through Sharon, kidnapped and killed Kara Zdanczewski last month

Deanna Zdanczewski, mother of murdered Kara Zdanczewski, committed suicide.


ASHTABULA, Ohio (WKBN) – The mother of the 13-year-old girl who was kidnapped and murdered last month committed suicide, according to the Ashtabula Police Department.

Deanna Zdanczewski, the mother of Kara Zdanczewski, was found dead in her home just after 8 p.m. Sunday.

Ashtabula City Solicitor Michael Franklin said “keyboard warriors” on social media who criticized Deanna Zdanczewski don’t know the whole story and probably played a part in her decision to end her life.

He released the following statement to WKBN on Tuesday:

I can’t say I know exactly why the lady did this. I suspect that the one light in her life was Kara, she didn’t want to continue to live in the darkness left by Kara’s death.

The police officers and prosecutors who have lived with this tragedy since it began in May know the toll it has taken on us; how much more did Kara’s mother suffer? Much more than I can comprehend.

I do want the “keyboard warriors” on social media who were so keen to criticize her from the comfort of their armchairs to be very aware that they do NOT know the whole story, and I am sure their insensitive and ignorant online pronouncements played a part in this poor lady’s decision to end her life.

There is no parent who suffers the death of a child who does not feel guilt: Should I have done more? Could I have done more? Why didn’t I do more? When the ignorant start slinging their accusations, it does not matter that they are baseless.

It is my sincere hope for the sages of social media that these thoughts will keep them awake at night doing something other than trolling the internet. A little introspection is in order. Just because you have the right to espouse uninformed opinions does not mean that you ought to do so. The harm of your words does not stop in the virtual worlds of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It crawls out into the real world and causes real pain.”

I pray for Kara’s mother as I pray for Kara. Let them both find peace.

Deanna Zdanczewski’s teenage daughter’s body was found in a field in Saybrook Township on May 11. John Bove, 46, is accused of her kidnapping and murder.

Investigators say he took Kara Zdanczewski from her home with her parents’ permission on May 10.

He led police officers on a chase through Sharon before they caught up to him behind Sharon Regional Hospital.

A woman who he was staying with tipped off law enforcement when she called police, claiming Bove told her “things went south” with the girl.

Bove remains in the Mercer County Jail on $1 million bond. He is fighting extradition to Ashtabula.

Three others have also been charged in the case.

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