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Kiara Anderson’s sister shares memories of her sister and nephews

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Kiara Anderson’s sister shares memories of her sister and nephews

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Joseph Jr. Anderson, left, and his little brother Jeffery help prepare dinner. The boys and their mother Kiara Anderson were murdered on December 22 by Joseph Sr. Anderson.

LITHOPOLIS – Kristina Dumas remembers her older sister as a loving mother, proud veteran and incredible baker.

She remembers her 5-year-old nephew Joseph Jr.’s love for dinosaurs and Lays BBQ chips, and how her younger brother Jeffery, 2, followed him wherever he went.

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All Dumas has now are memories, after his sister and nephews were murdered by his brother-in-law on Wednesday, December 22 in their house in Lithopolis.

Dumas said she reconnected with her sister after leaving military service in 2018.

Kiara Anderson’s sister shares memories of her sister and nephews

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Kiara Anderson appears in a photo collage, shared on social media. She served in the United States Army.

“We were born in Cleveland and raised in Shaker Heights, before moving to Twinsburg. She graduated from high school there and went straight into the military. She served for about four or five years, before deciding to move to Florida because she was pregnant with Joseph Jr., ”Dumas said.

Kiara met Joseph Sr. during his time in the military. They had lived in Florida for a few years before Kiara decided she wanted to live closer to her sister in Ohio. They moved to Lithopolis around 2018. Jeffery was born in 2019.

Dumas said she had lived with the family for some time, working at Aunt Anne’s pretzel store in the River Valley Mall. It was a happy time for the family, with everyone close to each other. Dumas moved into a neighboring apartment, still able to visit.

Once the coronavirus pandemic struck, however, she said she had to return to Cleveland. The shutdown impacted her work at the mall, and she didn’t want to have to go back to living with her sister, a move she said was a step backwards.

“I told Kiara and warned her that I was coming back. She told me to move on. She was always so supportive of whatever I wanted to do and what I felt I had to do. We kept in touch, calling and using video chat to stay in touch, visit while on vacation, “said Dumas.” I was also close to Joseph Sr., I called him just as much. “

She added that Joseph Jr. also knew how to use the phone, call or text him, or open the phone to an app for entertainment.

Kiara Anderson’s sister shares memories of her sister and nephews

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Jeffery Anderson sneaks a snack into the family pantry.

“He only started talking recently. For a long time he was very quiet. He would understand everything, if we spoke or if Kiara put a show on TV or on his phone for him to watch, he would understand that. It was only after his autism diagnosis that it made sense for him to shut up, ”Dumas said. “But he always said ‘Hey, Tweety’ to me when he heard me on the phone. He knew how to use video chat. He was very dear to my heart.”

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She remembers Joseph Jr.’s love for dinosaurs. Kiara would take her to visit Dumas at the mall, and they would stop by the toy store to look at some dinosaur toys. Dumas joked that he had to have one of everything.

Dumas said Jeffery was just starting to speak and enjoyed playing with toy cars.

“The boys were close. Everywhere Junior went, Jeffery was right behind him. And wherever their mother went, they were right behind her. She loved her boys, you couldn’t say anything bad about them without her answering. “, Dumas mentioned.

She added that her sister was an excellent baker.

“Kiara loved to cook, she was so good at it. She offered to bake pastries for people in the community, she loved it so much. Junior loved to cook with her, help in the kitchen. She was so good at it, every time. that I was coming to visit her, I would ask for a peach cobbler, and she ended up making a gigantic pan, there was no way I could eat it all myself, ”she said.“ Kiara said. started his own family here in Lancaster as we were distant from our adopted family in Cleveland. Pastry was his way of showing his love. And everyone loved him, and his military family loved him too. “

Dumas explained that the sisters have a tradition on Christmas Eve to wrap presents after the boys have fallen asleep and to exchange a present before bed.

“I bought her a shelf for a bakery business that she wanted to start, that’s how passionate she was, but she will never have it now,” Dumas said.

Kiara Anderson’s relationship with her husband was troubled

Dumas was Kiara’s confidante when it came to her relationship with her husband, Joseph Sr. Things were tense. Dumas said they don’t have a perfect relationship, but she tries to be there for her sister.

“They were separated and Kiara had told me that she was planning to print the divorce papers soon. They had been having issues for a while, it wasn’t new. They weren’t perfect, but everyone has problems, ”Dumas said. noted. “Kiara wanted to leave, but she was worried about the kids, so that’s what held her back. I think he broke down when she finally had the courage to leave, and he saw that she was happy. . “

“I didn’t think he would go that far though.”

Dumas said December 22 was a normal day until she received a text from one of Kiara’s colleagues, who explained that a SWAT team was around Kiara’s house in Lithopolis and that an active shooter would be in the area. Dumas and her fiancé decided to go downstairs, just as a precaution and to make sure everything was okay.

As they were on the road, Dumas received a text to “stop”.

“That’s when another friend of Kiara’s called. We had been to his house for Thanksgiving, and I wanted to know why he was calling from his phone. He was crying, and I immediately asked why he was crying. , where Kiara was, where my nephews were, ”Dumas said.“ He told me he didn’t know how to tell me, then kept repeating Joe’s name, that’s all he did. could tell. I started to panic. I thought he had hurt her, or maybe he had hurt himself. “

“That’s when they told me they were dead. My first concern was the boys. But they told me they were all dead, all in their house. Where was Joe? ? They told me he was dead too. “

Dumas said she hung up immediately and told her fiancé to leave, they had to go to Lithopolis. She said she was shocked and incredulous.

“I couldn’t record what they told me. I had just spoken to him the day before a raffle, and we wanted to make sure it wasn’t a scam. I couldn’t believe what I had been heard, ”she said.

After arriving in Lithopolis on Wednesday, she spoke to police officers and obtained basic information. Dumas and her fiance returned to Cleveland and returned to Fairfield County on Thursday.

To advance

Thursday was spent trying to find details of the funeral arrangements. Dumas was able to obtain the rights to be able to bury his sister from their adoptive mother. Joseph Jr and Jeffery were to be cremated, as decided by their grandmother. Dumas was able to secure a promise that some of their ashes could be buried with Kiara.

“That’s what she wanted, they were her world and she loved them dearly. They loved her right away. I wish Kiara and the boys could be buried together, but the ashes will have to do the trick. It just seems that their father’s family get ashes too, as they also lost their family, ”Dumas said.“ I didn’t agree with the idea of ​​Kiara being buried with her husband. We wouldn’t be in this situation without him, and what he did was selfish. “

Dumas was able to speak with a member of the crime scene investigation unit, who was able to give him the details of what happened.

“I had to know what had happened, I still didn’t believe it until he shared the details with me. Walking into the house, seeing where it happened, also made it real. . He was very kind and patient. We spent almost an hour on the phone, and it was mostly me who used it, and he listened to me and gave me time to process everything, “said Dumas. . “It made me sick. She’s survived all kinds of things like the trauma of the foster care system, being deployed overseas twice and always coming back here. This is how it ends. “

For Dumas and his family, she said there was nothing more they could do about this situation. She was able to collect some photos of the house, a stuffed animal she bought for Joseph Jr, and a candle commemorating the birth of her nephew.

“What happened has happened. I can only hope that anyone who hears about this story and sees the same signs that were in Kiara’s relationship can walk away and come out. If you feel like you are being abused , like you’re being manipulated, know your self-esteem and come out, ”Dumas said.“ In that case, it’s too late. He didn’t have to go that far, but he did. So if you are in a situation like this then go out there and ask for help. If there are children, find a way to escape. “

“As a family member, it’s too much to handle. We can just move on and be kind to each other.”

Barrett Lawlis is a reporter for the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette. Contact him at 740-681-4342 or email blawlis@gannett.com for commentary or story advice. Follow him on Twitter @BarrettLawlis

This article originally appeared on Lancaster Eagle-Gazette: Lithopolis Murders: Kiara Anderson’s Sister’s Memories of the Killed Family

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