Family grieves tragic Dickson murder-suicide - WSMV Channel 4

Family grieves tragic Dickson murder-suicide

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Grieving family members are struggling to come to terms with a murder-suicide that ended in the death of an 86-year-old woman and her son.

Eileen Hotvedt was put in a Dickson nursing home two months ago.

Monday, her son went to visit, took her outside, shot her, then turned the gun on himself.

And Tuesday, Channel 4 spoke with the Hotvedt family about what may have led to the tragedy.

Tens of thousands of happy brides immigrated to the United States during World War II.

A young Eileen Hotvedt was one of them.

The English-born woman met and married U.S. soldier, Olaf Hotvedt, moved to this country and had three children - son Marty, daughter Astridl and Gary.

Dickson Police say Gary shot and killed her Monday outside her nursing home at 901 North Charlotte St. Moments later, Gary killed himself.

"It doesn't make sense and I don't know if it ever will, but it doesn't make sense now," Marty Hotvedt said.

Marty Hotvedt and his wife Dianne are still trying to understand what happened. Marty Hotvedt says his younger brother, a graduate of Albany Law School, never showed signs of being overwhelmed.

But the stressors were there. Back in July, the 60-year-old Gary lost his job as an attorney with the state regulatory authority. Then two months ago, his mother began showing signs of what appeared to be dementia.

The family was forced to put Eileen in a nursing home, and Gary became her primary caregiver.

"He didn't show it. There was something building up in him. I don't know how you do that. You just can't do that," Marty Hotvedt said.

Lots of baby-boomers are under stress, caring for aging parents. Dickson Police Chief Ricky Chandler believes it's never easy to know what's going on from the outside looking in.

"It's sort of like a rubber band. Things build and sooner or later, it's gonna snap," Chandler said.

Marty Hotvedt and Dianne were the primary caregivers for Marty's dad, Olaf Hotvedt, before he died with Alzheimer's. Now, the matriarch of the family is gone as well, in a heartbreaking murder-suicide that no one understands.

"We don't know yet. We haven't figured it out," Marty Hotvedt said.

Chandler says counseling has been made available to police officers who were at the scene Monday.

And the mid-south chapter of the Alzheimer's Association has a list of several support groups for families dealing Alzheimer's. For more information, visit:

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