Mental illness is a serious problem that, if left unchecked, can lead to severe consequences. That’s certainly not to say that every person with a mental illness is on the brink of committing a heinous crime, but it does indicate that those struggling with such matters need to be taken seriously and treated with sensitivity.

That may have been the case with Christopher Cadenbach, whose apparent emotional instability may be the reason why he did something unforgivable. While there’s no way to excuse what he did, but perhaps by understanding his story, we can prevent something similar from happening again.

When a fierce legal dispute arose between Christopher Cadenbach and his estranged wife, the man left with his two children, Ethan and Owen, to go to his mother’s home.

1-christopher-cadenbachFacebook / Chris Cadenbach

He had already been issued a $100,000 bond related to charges of domestic violence against his wife.

2-christopher-cadenbachFacebook / Chris Cadenbach

After spending a day roaming town as he tried to forget his legal troubles, Christopher returned to his mother’s house, borrowed her car, and drove away with his kids.

3-christopher-cadenbachFacebook / Chris Cadenbach

Christopher’s mother called the police after observing his strange, unpredictable behavior, and soon, an Amber Alert was sent out.

4-christopher-cadenbachInstagram / jus_mancini87

At Cliff Cave Park, a park ranger saw Christopher and his boys in the vehicle that matched the description and joined police officers as they approached the car.

5-christopher-cadenbachInstagram / Kimmmy07

When Christopher saw police officers approaching, he shot and killed both of his sons, then killed himself.

6-christopher-cadenbachInstagram / law_enforcements

Police are still investigating Christopher’s motives, but one could assume that it had something to do with the ongoing legal battles with his ex-wife and mother of his children. This is an absolutely devastating story.

Please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 if you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts—especially if children are involved. It may seem insignificant, but it can truly save lives.

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