Man tells 911 he killed two, then is found dead

His, his wife's and her son's deaths culminate what neighbors say was an abusive relationship.

Published October 11, 2006

PENSACOLA - A man called 911, told dispatchers he had strangled his wife and her 10-year-son two days earlier, then apparently killed himself after ending the call.

When a dispatcher asked Fred Kevin Mitchell, 48, what his emergency was on Friday, he responded: "There's no more emergency, but there's two dead people."

He calmly explained that he had strangled Betty Mitchell, 48, and Tommy Mitchell, 10, on Wednesday and named the motel where their bodies could be found, according to a recording of the call released Monday.

Finally, Mitchell directed dispatchers to a remote area, where he was later found dead of an apparent hanging.

Investigators found the woman's and boy's bodies in the motel. Autopsies were being conducted on all three.

"We don't have a motive. We know there had been domestic abuse," Escambia County sheriff's Sgt. Mike Ward said Tuesday.

Neighbors said Fred Mitchell had lost his job, had substance abuse problems and had a history of domestic abuse.

Betty Mitchell's daughter, Candace Phelps, 30, described her mother's and stepfather's relationship as abusive.

"She couldn't, or wouldn't, get out of it," she said. "We expected something like this to happen, but I didn't think he was capable of doing that to Tommy."