struck the school of Camas Prairie Elementary of Bethel School District in Spanaway, Wash. on Thursday when it was reported that one of their most beloved teachers, 56-year-old Rob Meline, had been murdered.
The horrific news affected not only the community, but the Meline family found themselves with a dual burden to carry as the victim was allegedly murdered by his own son. Another Bethel teacher, Mrs. Meline, had just left for a trip to Spain when she got the news Thursday evening that her husband was dead and her son was in jail.
Thursday morning 29-year-old Jonathan Meline and his sister walked two miles from their father's house on 9th and Union in Tacoma to the Pierce County jail so he could turn himself in for the crime.
Investigators report the victim died from blunt force trauma. It appeared Mr. Meline had been beaten to death in what authorities claim is the fourth case of patricide in the South Sound area in the past 18 months.
After spending time in and out of Western State Hospital, Rob's sister-in-law, Kerry Morrison confirmed, "Jonathan has a history of schizophrenia and it has escalated in his behavior over the past 10 years or so."
Writing this article has been very troubling for me as I, not only work in the Bethel School District, but for a few years worked with Mr. and Mrs. Meline at Camas Prairie. Mr. Meline was in great demand by parents to have their child in his class because he had a reputation of accepting, encouraging, and motivating every child to succeed.