WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — There are new details tonight about the West Sacramento father accused of killing his three children.
A neighbor says she watched Robert Hodges leave his family’s apartment the night of the murders, and that he showed no emotion.
The neighbor says first, she was outside her apartment when she saw the children’s mother get home from work that night and go inside the apartment.
Ten minutes later the mother came out screaming for help.
“She was holding her neck, screaming help me, help me,” the neighbor said.
The neighbor says the mother ran to her for help, escaping an alleged attack from her husband, Robert Hodges, and that Hodges was running too, right behind her.
“I mean he was right behind her. Right behind her.”
Only she says Hodges ran by them, his face showing no emotion.
“He seemed content,” she said. “He seemed content. Absent. He was not in a rage.”
Then came the call to 9-1-1. A dispatcher asked about children.
“She said I hadn’t had a chance to check yet, and we ran upstairs together actually,” the neighbor said.
Together they discovered the bodies of all three children, inside the family home. Her 11-year-old, 9-year-old and 7-month-old.
“Her being hysterical and franctic, I started crying and honestly I just threw my arms around her and I held her,” the neighbor said.
In a Facebook post, the mother wrote Friday:
“I still can’t get it out of my head. For those that know Robbie know he was once a loving and caring husband and father. I was never in an abusive marriage.”
Members of the Hmong community, including Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly, are rallying around the mother.
He says the Hmong culture traditionally pressures women not to complain, even if they are in abusive relationships.
“That trend still exists within the community,” Ly said. “I think that it is disappearing, but that being the case, that is a potential factor that we need to look at.”
A mother facing a lifetime of agony.
Her husband facing murder charges, for allegedly killing their three children.
“Every time I close my eyes, I see her children,” the neighbor says. “Every single time.”
Robert Hodges is due in court on Monday.