Crystal and Robert King and their daughter Taylor Sizemore hunched over a picnic table in Flora Community Park and read the four-page Probable Cause Affidavit that explained why investigators arrested Mitchell Page, an ex-boyfriend, for the killing of Jessica Sizemore, her four-year-old daughter Rae’Lynn and Jessica’s fiancé Jessiah Hall.
“They got along until I just found out recently that they had been fighting about the last couple weeks,” said Crystal, her voice quivering. “I don’t know. This was the last person I ever expected to have done this. I thought he loved my daughter. I thought he loved my granddaughter.”
Jessica and Page shared a six-year-old daughter from their previous relationship, said Crystal who had talked to her daughter the day of the killings.
“He actually called when I was on the phone,” she said. “They weren’t even expecting him right then because he didn’t tell them he was on his way.”
A Miami County Sheriff’s detective wrote in the PC that the child told them she waited outside while Page allegedly committed the killings inside the mobile home just off US 31 south of Peru May 16th.
“Her dad left her in the truck on the day he picked her up. He came out and rolled up the windows, started the engine and turned on rock and roll music then went back inside the deceased’s residence.”
A man doing construction work in the mobile home park that Sunday afternoon told investigators, “A white male with a build consistent of Mitchell William Page…exited the truck leaving a small child inside.
“The male…then entered the residence and after approximately 10 minutes (the witness) states he heard (3) gunshots. A short time later he may have heard an additional 2 shots.”
The bodies were not discovered until May 21st after deputies were called to do a welfare check when Taylor Sizemore said she couldn’t reach her sister.
“Why did nobody say anything? Gunshots in a trailer park? Why didn’t anyone realize their vehicles hadn’t been left? Their windows hadn’t been rolled up? Hadn’t taken their dogs out?” Crystal and Taylor asked.
Inside the home deputies found Jessica’s two-year-old son, dehydrated but apparently unharmed after being unattended for five days.
“I believe God, Jesse and Jessica were watching over him,” said Crystal, once again on the verge of tears, “and so was Rae’Lynn just making sure he was okay. I think we got to him just in time.”
The next day, last Saturday, the family said Mitchell Page brought the six-year-old to their home in Flora.
“Mitch called me and asked if he could bring (the child) over to cheer up my wife,” said Robert King.
“He didn’t seem affected at all,” remembered Crystal. “He was in the yard playing with my eleven-year- old son like it was just any other day that he came over to the house.”
Taylor recalled that just days before, she contacted Page to express concern that Jessica hadn’t answered her phone or returned her messages.
“He texted me on Friday when I asked him if my sister was fine and if he heard from her. ‘Oh, she’s probably just sleeping. I’ll call her tomorrow,’” she quoted Page. “’She’s stressed from the new house.’”
Jessica and Jessiah had been together for three years and were on the verge of applying for mortgage loan.
“She loved being a mom,” said Crystal. “Her kids were her everything.”
As the Kings played with their granddaughter in the park the day after the bodies were discovered, the family says investigators were closing in on Page.
“They asked me what kind of vehicle he drove, how he was as a father, how he was just as a person pretty much,” said Taylor. “They called me again and I said, ‘Well, Mitchell’s actually here right now. Do you want to talk to him?
“He handed me my phone back and said, ‘Here, Taylor, they’re just gonna come here and question me.’”
State troopers and sheriffs deputies arrived to interview Page at the Flora Police Department.
24 hours later he was arrested at a relative’s house in Lafayette and Crystal received a call from the detective on her daughter’s case.
“He goes, ‘Miss King, I have Mitchell in custody for these crimes,” and I said, ‘What? There’s no way. You’ve got to be kidding.’ He said, ‘I wouldn’t have him in custody unless I had the proof, overwhelming proof.’”
Evidence investigators reportedly found blood on the muzzle of a gun found at Page’s house and a ballistics test confirmed it was likely the murder weapon.
“He had called our other daughter an hour before that and said that he was fine,” said Robert, “that he had to jump through hoops to get his daughter, and then an hour later, we get that call that it was him, that they picked him up.”
“How could he do that?” asked Crystal who wonders if there were signs that she missed. “Why would you do that?
“He took his daughter’s mother and her baby sister, her daddy Jessie and traumatized her little brother beyond belief. That little boy is so broken.”
The children remain in state custody in Peru where Crystal explained to her granddaughter that her mother was gone.
“I just told her they went to be with the angels,” said Crystal. “That’s all I could tell her.”
Not only did the Kings and Taylor lose their loved ones, but the accused killer is someone they trusted and welcomed into their home.
Given all that, I asked, why would they agree to meet with me in a town park to talk about their unspeakable tragedy?
“Because I want to make sure that my daughter and granddaughter and my soon-to-be son-in-law get justice,” said Crystal. “He needs to pay for what he did.”
Crystal then hugged Taylor and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
Page is set to go on trial in July.