Family of Cumberland County murder-suicide victim speaks out

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The Lyon's kids may be grown up now, but they look back at their childhood with fond memories.

"Crazy things would happen. We would be down in the creek to ice skate, and I was checking to see if the ice was okay. I told them to stay back. Well, next thing I looked and they're in the water and I had to pull them both out. Funny things like that," said Diane McMillen.

Now, those memories are all they have left of their sister, Sue.

"She was a good person. Very loving. A very special person that would do anything for anybody. Anybody. Anybody that was in trouble, she was there for them. And I feel bad because of what she was going through and we weren't there for her. If we would have only known," said McMillen, Sue's oldest sister.

On Sunday, Sue Grundon was shot multiple times by her husband, James, while trying to back out of their driveway.

James then ran in the backyard and killed himself.

Sue later died at the hospital.

"I always had in the back of my mind this sort of thing could happen with him, because he's dangerous,"
said Nathan Stum, Sue's son from a previous marriage.

Sue's family says they tried multiple times to talk her out of marrying James back in 2012. They knew there were red flags in his past, but Sue told them he had changed.

"The words that he said must have been words she wanted to hear. It was like she was hypnotized or something. He was just a smooth operator," said Kay Lyons, Sue's mother.

Experts say this is not an uncommon trait in a domestic abuser.

"A lot of times because abusers are master-manipulators, they come across as very charming people," said Julie Bancroft, Chief Public Affairs Officer with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Police had never been called to the house on Country Club Road in East Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County where the murder happened before, and the family says Sue never mentioned anything about abuse to them.

This, experts say, is not uncommon for a domestic abuse victim.

"It's largely out of fear. Out of fear or retaliation. When a victim tries to leave or seek safety, that's the most dangerous time," said Bancroft.

Bancroft says these things can be hard to detect, and if you suspect there is an issue, the best thing you can do is encourage the victim to seek help.

As the investigation continues, it appears Sue did make mention of some issues to close friends and coworkers.

"I don't think she wanted us to worry," said Crysti Stum, Sue's daughter.

Of course, Sue's family want's answers.

But they also want her to be remembered as the amazing person she was, and that is what they will try to focus on moving forward.

"We'll always cherish her and her memory. And this baby will definitely know about her. Never going to forget her," said Crysti. Crysti is due with her first son in September.

If you or someone you know may be a victim of domestic violence, you are strongly encouraged to contact the domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.

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