Bellevue community rallies after family's brutal murder - WKRN News 2

Bellevue community rallies after family's brutal murder

Posted: Updated: Sep 4, 2012 2:42 PM CDT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Bellevue residents are rallying around a young girl whose family was brutally murdered over the weekend in Bellevue.

Michelle Pinkowski, 48, her son, 14-year-old Jonathan Culpepper, and her mother, 71-year old Marylea Jordan, were stabbed to death inside their home on Beech Bend Road early Sunday morning.

The man believed to be responsible for the stabbings is the family's neighbor, 41-year-old Craig Garber.

Garber remains hospitalized at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after undergoing surgery for self-inflicted stab wounds.

He was listed Tuesday afternoon in critical but stable condition and remains under around the clock guard by Metro police.

Charges are pending.

Pinkowski's nine-year-old daughter witnessed the crime but was able to escape.  She is staying with relatives in Williamson County.

The little girl attends Harpeth Valley Elementary School where administrators, along with the Bellevue Exchange Club, are fundraising to help the family.

Donations can be made to the Harpeth Valley PTO Burial and Benevolence Fund at the Pinnacle Bank on Highway 70S in Bellevue.

Donations will be used to help the family with funeral costs.  Any and all remaining money will go to Pinkowski's daughter for food, clothing and education costs.

In addition, Culpepper's Boy Scout Troop 87 at Belle Meade United Methodist Church plans to honor him with the "Spirit of the Eagle Award" to recognize the "joy, happiness and life-fulfilling experience scouting made in his life."

Grief counselors were also scheduled to be on hand Tuesday at Hillwood High School where Culpepper was a freshman.

Pinkowski worked as a server at Athens Family Restaurant in Bellevue.

She was hired in March and during her interview, told her boss, Adel Elostta, about her past struggles with drug addiction.

Elostta told Nashville's News 2 Tuesday Pinkowski really seemed to be getting her life back together and often spoke of her children and mother.

"She was devoted to her kids," Elostta recalled.

Pinkowski worked a full shift Saturday night and Elostta's daughter gave her a ride home around 10:30 p.m.

He said she seemed "perfectly normal and had been laughing and joking all day."

Funeral arrangements for the family are incomplete.

A candlelight vigil will be held fro 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at Red Caboose Park on Highway 70S at Colice Jeanne Road in Bellevue.

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