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The Grand Rapids Press
by John Tunison | The Grand Rapids Press
Wednesday February 25, 2009, 5:24 PM
LOWELL — Family of a man who stabbed his ex-girlfriend four times in the neck and once in the chest said he talked of suicide before and was at a psychiatric hospital twice in the past, most recently in October.
Jeff Childs, 40, of Lowell, killed himself by cutting his own throat minutes after stabbing Jayna Fuller, 29, in a home on East Main Street.
Five children, all nieces and nephews of Childs and all under 6 years old, were in the house when the assault and suicide happened about 4:45 p.m. Wednesday.
A friend of Childs who was at the home Wednesday said Childs had been drinking from a fifth before the stabbing, but he did not know how much and did not know if he was drunk. Family said Childs took medication for depression.
Police said he was upset about a recent break-up with Fuller and wanted to continue the relationship. Fuller was visiting relatives of Childs at the Main Street home, aware that he was supposed to be away at a doctor’s appointment, when he showed up and confronted her.
Interim Lowell Police Chief James Hinton said police have had past contacts with Childs for “mental and criminal issues” but he was never arrested.
Family said the attack was out of character for Childs, described as an avid hunter and fisherman who loved his nieces and nephews.
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