Phoenix Mom Of 4 And Infant Fatally Shot By Estranged Husband, Cops Say
Lanae Mouton and her 11-month old daughter, Ava, were allegedly killed by her estranged husband.
October 12, 2021 at 1:30 pm
Lanae Mouton's family is speaking out following her death, pleading with those experiencing domestic violence to seek help before it's too late. Her family said there were signs of abuse throughout Mouton's marriage, which dated back to when the two were teenagers, 12 News reports.
“He was always manipulative. She just never saw it,” Lauren Riley, Mouton's twin sister, said of the woman's estranged husband.
Lanae, 32, and her daughter, Ava, were allegedly shot and killed by Louis Mouton III, on Oct. 4. She was holding her daughter while hiding in the closet when Louis shot her. Lanae and Ava were taken to a hospital where they were pronounced dead.
According to ABC15, Lanae's three other children were safe outside of the home at the time. Louis was arrested at the scene.
Officials shared that Lanae separated from Louis in April, but her twin sister says it took years before she was ready to walk away.
"There was literally nothing anybody could do," Riley said. "I could’ve gone to the police and told them stuff, but they’re going to go back to her to back it up and she’s going to protect him.”
Her family said they were aware of Lanae and Louis' relationship problems, and even offered to let her and the kids stay with them. They said Lanae was planning to divorce him at the time of her death.
Now, the family is speaking out in the hopes that Lanae's story will inspire someone else to take the first step and potentially save lives.
"We were best friends, you know, we talked about everything. So, I already knew a lot of stuff that was going on, was going on between them and we talked about it a lot, you know... always encouraging her to take that step and get herself out, get out of it. She was going to do it tomorrow," Riley said, per ABC 15.
“We all think tomorrow we’ll do this, tomorrow I’ll do that, and at some point you won’t have tomorrow. The biggest challenge for so many relationships is that person making that final decision and taking action on it,” Lanae's brother, Robert Wheatley Jr., said.
“If you’re scared he’s going to kill you, if you stay there he is,” Robert Wheatley Sr., Lanae’s father, said.
Her mother, Kathy Wheatley, told her loved ones to “just remember the wonderful outgoing, beautiful smile, selflessness" of her daughter.
"Never forget Lanae,” she said.