• Investigators: Daughter witnessed murder-suicide at bus stop

    By: Kathryn Burcham


    UNION COUNTY, N.C. - A 9-year-old girl saw her father walk up to her mother and kill her before killing himself, according to investigators.

    Investigators are searching for a motive, although Eyewitness News was told there was a history of domestic violence between the estranged husband and wife.

    A white sheet was draped over the truck in the early morning rain on Sikes Mill Road in Unionville, just north of Monroe.

    “It’s always difficult because of the child’s age,” said Capt. Ronnie Whittaker with the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

    Neighbors told Channel 9 that Mary Overman Ismail spent most mornings with her daughter, waiting for the bus at the end of the long driveway.

    The two had just moved into a trailer on a farm, staying with a new boyfriend after Ismail left her estranged husband, Bobby Ismail, according to neighbors.

    Investigators said Thursday morning, Bobby Ismail showed up before the bus and shot Mary Ismail as she sat in the truck.

    Detectives said Bobby Ismail then turned the gun on himself, and this all took place in front of his daughter.

    “She was able to run down the road where a passerby may have spotted her and was able to call 911,” Whittaker said.

    Investigators said when they arrived, both Mary and Bobby Ismail were dead.

    “I just hate it for her that she was there but so glad she didn't get hurt as well,” said a neighbor.

    The neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said she has a 9-year-old daughter who rides the same bus.

    When she saw cruisers surrounding the bus stop Thursday morning, she was horrified.

    “My heart goes out to her and her family,” the neighbor said.

    Bobby Ismail had an arrest record that includes assault with a deadly weapon and trespassing.


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