3-Year-Old Boy Was Home When Dad Chased Mom Outside and Stabbed Her to Death Before Killing Himself

Police say Michael Aud-Headlee chased his estranged wife Melissa Aud-Headlee outside her home on May 11 and stabbed her on the street

<p>Susan James/GoFundMe</p> Melissa Aud-Headlee

Susan James/GoFundMe

Melissa Aud-Headlee

An Illinois man fatally stabbed his estranged wife in front of her home before dying by suicide, authorities said.

On Saturday, May 11, police officers in Joliet, Ill., a Chicago suburb, were called to a home where they found a 35-year-old woman lying in the street with multiple stab wounds to her chest, according to a statement from the Joliet Police Department.

An investigation revealed she had been fatally stabbed by her 32-year-old estranged husband, who also stabbed himself in the driveway, police said, adding that the pair had been in the midst of a divorce. Both were officially pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Authorities identified the pair in unspecified court documents as Melissa Aud-Headlee and Michael Aud-Headlee, according to Joliet Patch and CBS News.

Investigators believe Michael chased Melissa outside her home, armed with a kitchen knife, and then repeatedly stabbed her on the street before doing the same to himself in front of witnesses, per the statement. Police also said that the couple’s three year old son was at the home when the incident took place and was unharmed.

"This was determined to be a targeted domestic-related incident and there is no threat to the community," police added in the statement.

Will County court records reviewed by PEOPLE show Melissa filed for divorce from Michael in January. Records also show she had obtained two orders of protection against him; one in January 2022 and another in November 2023.

Relatives told CBS News that Melissa had celebrated her 35th birthday the day prior to her murder. Her brother, Daniel Ronczkowski, said he was one of the last family members to see her alive.

“It was a gift that God gave me that I got to spend the last hour with my sister doing something for her,” Ronczkowski told CBS News.

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Melissa was remembered on a GoFundMe campaign created by a loved one as a mother of three “who tragically lost her life through domestic violence.”

“She has three beautiful children who are now being left without a mom and can really use everyone’s help,” fundraiser organizer Susan James wrote. “Melissa was a very happy, bubbly person who had gone through a lot in life and was overcoming that, she was a wonderful mom and now I am asking for help for her three kids.”

The fundraiser has garnered more than $8,500 in donations as of Friday, May 17.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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