Eglin Air Force Base community rallies around airman after her son's murder
By JIM THOMPSON | The Northwest Florida Daily News | Published: March 18, 2019
EGLIN AFB (Tribune News Service) — The full range of Eglin Air Force Base resources are being marshaled around a relatively new airman whose husband killed their 3-year-old son and then attempted to kill himself last Friday.
Airman 1st Class Darrelly Franken, 38, had been assigned to Tyndall Air Force Base, but was reassigned to Eglin AFB in December, in the wake of Hurricane Michael, according to Eglin spokesman Andy Bourland. The October hurricane scored a direct hit on Tyndall as it roared across the eastern Florida panhandle on Oct. 10, all but destroying the installation.
Bourland wasn't certain in a Monday interview, but said he believed the home where Franken and her husband, 61-year-old Frederick Franken, had lived with their young son, Frederick Franken Jr., while stationed at Tyndall was destroyed by the hurricane.
On the afternoon of March 15, Darelly Franken arrived at the family's home to find her husband and son on the floor. Shortly afterward, Okaloosa County sheriff's deputies responded to the residence, according to witnesses. Details of the incident have not yet been released by the Sheriff's Office.
The child was pronounced dead at the scene, and the medical examiner's office was scheduled to perform an autopsy on Monday.
Frederick Franken was listed in critical condition at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center on Friday, and had improved to fair condition as of Monday morning, according to hospital spokeswoman Denise Kendust. Frederick Franken is not in military service, Bourland said.
Darelly, an active-duty airman who has been in the Air Force for just over a year, according to Bourland, is assigned to the 96th Maintenance Group. She 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 in the wake 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.
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