EGLIN AFB — A 3-year-old boy found dead Friday in his family's Bluewater Bay home died from multiple stab wounds, according to a Monday news release from the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office.
The boy's father, 61-year-old Frederick Franken, also was discovered on the floor of the 1476 Rawlins Court home, with "multiple self-inflicted stab wounds," according to the Sheriff's Office. Franken was listed in fair condition Monday at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center in the wake of the apparent murder and attempted suicide.
A steak knife was recovered from the scene, according to the news release.
The body of young Frederick Franken Jr., and his wounded father, were discovered by 38-year-old Darrelly Franken — the child's mother and Franken's wife — when she arrived home from work on Friday. Darrelly Franken is an Air Force airman first class with the 96th Maintenance Group, according to base spokesman Andy Bourland. Frederick Franken is not a member of the military, Bourland added.
According to the Sheriff's Office, Darrelly Franken "told OCSO investigators the couple was experiencing marital difficulties and she had recently told her husband she wanted a divorce."
A full range of Eglin Air Force Base resources were being marshaled around Darrelly Franken on Monday, according to Bourland.
Franken had been assigned to Tyndall Air Force Base, but was reassigned to Eglin AFB in December following Hurricane Michael, Bourland said.
Bourland wasn't certain in a Monday interview, but said he believed the home where Franken and her husband had lived with their young son while stationed at Tyndall was destroyed by the Oct. 10 hurricane.
An active-duty airman who has been in the Air Force for just over a year, Darrelly Franken was at Eglin AFB on Monday, where the base's health and family assistance personnel were waiting to assess her condition and address any needs she might have as a result of the tragedy, Bourland said.
In addition, according to Bourland, the 96th Test Wing's leadership, chain of command and personnel are "rallying around" Franken as she copes with Friday's events. On their own, base officials have reached out to the Air Force Aid Society, the official charity of the Air Force, to arrange assistance for her, Bourland said.
At the same time as Eglin AFB has been assisting Darrelly Franken, a family member has set up a GoFundMe campaign to fly family members here from Holland and the Caribbean island of Aruba for the child's funeral. As of late Monday afternoon, the campaign, started by a cousin of the airman and called "Wings for RJ," had raised $1,130 of its $7,000 goal.
"It is important that our family come together to support my cousin," the GoFundMe appeal reads, in part. "... We need to cover the cost of 6 tickets from Holland and 2 tickets from Aruba. Including additional costs, we are raising $7000 to bring the family together. If we exceed this amount, the money will go towards funeral costs."