Family Copes During Murder Investigation - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

12/14/06 - Nacogdoches

Family Copes During Murder Investigation

By Donna McCollum  

Early Thursday morning around 1:30 Tim Eubanks, the man charged with Tina Eubank's murder was found. Eubanks was found sitting in his silver mini van that was parked in the middle of a private field off of Nacogdoches County road 438. The discovery was made after police obtained a federal search warrant to follow a cell phone signal. They ended up in the vicinity of Chireno near the Littles Chapel area.  

Eubanks had spoken about suicide throughout the day to friends from his cell phone. He was found alert, but lethargic. Nacogdoches Police Department spokesman Lt. Greg Sowell said, "It was noted Mr. Eubanks has possible ingested a significant amount of prescription medication. He was taken to a Nacogdoches hospital by ambulance where he was admitted and he remains in the hospital under 24 hour police guard."  

Detectives anticipate Eubanks will soon be transferred to the Nacogdoches County Jail. He has been working at the Nacogdoches Medical Center as the Director of Medical Imaging. Eubanks has hired an attorney. This prevents law enforcement from having immediate opportunities to interview him.  

Children Cope

Meanwhile, the couple's five children are in their home surrounded by loving grandparents, an uncle and friends. Their life is much different than it was just a day ago, but they assure concerned friends that they will be alright. That's because of the foundation their mother built for them.    

Two daughters and their grandmother  prepare a memory table for a woman they all love and miss. Janelle Eubanks, 14, handles some jingle bells. "These are the bells she rang every morning for Christmas when it was time to open presents." Sarah Eubanks admires other memory objects. The sisters share the memories of homemade foods and fun games with two little sisters and an older brother. They're sad, but they rely on their faith to carry on a season that was so special to their mother.  Sarah said, "We know know she's there. We know she can be anywhere.she's with us always. People can see that we're still trying to hold onto the faith."

The family is experiencing a whirlwind of emotions. Janelle said, "We're just trying to cool off so we won't go into an emotional rampage something like that, to keep our spirits up. Remember the good times, instead of the bad."

The loss of a mother, with their adoptive father charged with her murder leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Janelle's tone changes to that of certainty. "Yes, definitely. I want all those questions answered," she said.

And then there's the mother who isn't supposed to be burying a child. Charlene Kirby said, "I guess it's like until I see her it's not true. I'm hoping to see her soon and as soon as I see her we'll have a small service here for the people here that loved her can come and then we'll go home."

Until the children leave for a new home and life they are remarkably carrying on with plans already in place. It's their nature noted their uncle and Tina's brother, Timothy Kirby. "It's amazing to see that even though she's not here and the obvious other side is not here, but yet minus the emotion there hasn't been a beat lost."  

Janelle practices her clarinet that's she'll play at her church for a Christmas program. Her mother also played the instrument. Sarah will be an angel. Her little sisters will sing in the choir. An older brother will watch with pride. And they'll do it all in the memory of their mother.  

Christmas Celebration Continues as Planned

The cultural center at the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Nacogdoches is where Tina Eubanks spent her last full day of life. She made wreaths with sisters of the church for Friday night's live nativity and musical program. A special Eubanks' children's fund has been established at Banccorp south. Community members can help by coming to the live nativity.     Church Volunteer Marsha Jacobson said, "We didn't feel that it would be appropriate to be in a celebrating mood and we asked the children how they felt and Rich, the oldest son said, 'My mother would want it to go on and the children are still planning to participate."  

The live nativity will begin at 6 p.m. Friday night. An organ recital will follow at seven. Manger collections will be on display too. The church is located on the Center highway just inside the loop.

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