In April of 2016 when Leanna Walker of Sunrise Lakes in Milford was reported missing we reported the story on the air and on our blog pages. What I did not report at the time was how close this situation was to my own family. My stepson knew Sky and Leanna. There was no doubt in his mind Sky was capable of this terrible murder. I met Sky once at my home. He seemed like a troubled young man but I could not predict he would murder his 17 year old girlfriend.
Several weeks after Leanna disappeared her burned remains were discovered buried on a llama farm where Sky used to work. At the time McDonough was already in the Pike County jail facing unrelated charges. He did not admit to murdering Leanna Walker until yesterday afternoon.
Many people may wonder why McDonough was allowed to plead guilty to a 3rd degree murder charge instead of first degree murder. The reason is McDonough was suffering from mental illness. Yesterday during his hearing McDonough testified that he had been treated for mental illness in the past but was not being treated now. Instead of facing life in prison he will face up to 40 years behind bars.
Leanna's family and friends will have closure now. I can't imagine their pain. Which will never end. My heart also goes out to McDonough's family. Although it is easy to focus on the horrible crime that occurred. A young person suffering from a serious mental illness is also a tragedy. McDonough was an adult and his family had no control over his treatment. A mental health patient who has not committed a crime cannot be kept as an in patient once they are stabilized. The medications prescribed only help if the person who needs them actually takes them.
Somehow we have to do a better job keeping track of people who suffer from mental illness and their medications. If we did in this case a tragic nightmare for two families might have been prevented.
Source: PA Homepage
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