Family of slain teen says system failed him - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Family of slain teen says system failed him

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BRANDENBURG, Ky. (WDRB) -- The family of a Brandenburg teenager killed in a double-murder/suicide is speaking out for the first time. They believe this was a tragedy that could have been prevented.

Tucker Wimpee's family says the 13-year-old was a victim of a system that ignored warnings and failed to protect his life.

"He was good boy who wanted to be the man who protected his mother. He did that to the bitter end," said Tucker's father, Phillip.

Surrounded by his family, Phillip Wimpee decried a system that he believes cost his son his life.

Tucker Wimpee and his mother, Ellen Cain, were shot and killed on Nov. 15th by Cain's live-in boyfriend Warren Earle Tripp, who also killed himself.

Documents show Phillip Wimpee, a Meade county deputy sheriff, tried to get sole custody of his son in 2010. He says the courts and child protective services share some of the blame for his son's death.

"We told you. We shouted it from the rooftops. We asked for help, and we didn't get it. Now, Tucker's gone," he said.

"We said this is exactly how it's going to end up. Everybody, is this how you want it to end up? Is this it? Is this how you want it? Because they're all going to end up dead," said Tucker's aunt Stephanie Wimpee.

Wimpee's surviving daughter Julianne, says she lived in the home for five years and says she could not convince social workers of Tripp's abuse.

She even warned her father two days before Tucker's death.

"Dad something's going to happen. I'm worried about my brother. He's going to hurt him," said Wimpee, as he recalled the conversation with his daughter.

"I'm worried about my mom and my little brother," added Julianne.

"What are you supposed to tell a child? Are you supposed to go to the court systems? Are you supposed to go to child protective services?" asked Wimpee.

"When you can't. Whenever they don't listen," said Julianne,

"They don't listen," concluded Wimpee.

Phillip Wimpee promises Tucker will not have died in vain. He is establishing a foundation called "One Tucker at a Time" to help fix a system he says is broken.

"I'm going to be the voices for all these kids. I'm going to be Tucker's voice. I'm going to be her voice. People are going to hear me," he said.

Gwenda Bond, a spokesperson for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said she could not comment on this specific case. But Bond said whenever there is a death, there is a review process in place to investigate whether proper procedures were followed. 

For more information about Phillip Wimpee's foundation "One Tucker at a Time," you may click here.

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