A BELOVED hospital worker was murdered after receiving a phone call to come home, a friend of the victim has revealed.
“She loved those kids like they were her kids,” Vanessa Evans, whose son was a patient at the hospital, exclusively told The U.S. Sun.
Vanessa’s son CJ was diagnosed with a stage four brain tumor when he was 12, and then after a long journey with cancer, he succumbed to his illness at 22.
“She was in that room with me when my son took his last breath,” Vanessa said of Brenda.
Brenda’s story has gained national attention as her daughter stood trial for the past 12 days for her mother’s death.
Vanessa, along with others at the hospital who had gotten close to Brenda, was grief-stricken when she died, not only for the loss that she felt but for future patients who would never meet Brenda.
“I know how much she did for us and for all these other families that I know there’s a loss to all the people going through this now, to the people that are going to go through this in the future,” Vanessa said.
Vanessa recalled Brenda getting a phone call from her husband Steven Powell telling her to go home on the day she died.
“It was her husband who had called her because he had just left the house from being there with Sydney,” Vanessa said.
Laura, a child psychologist who worked closely with Brenda at the hospital, was the one to tell Vanessa about her death.
“I always thought that Sydney had called because when Laura then called me that night to tell me what had happened, she had told me that she thought Brenda had gotten a call from Sydney and that they were fighting and went home, but I think from what I gathered from, I listened to the trial, I think she’d actually gotten a call from her husband to go home – that Sydney was there,” Vanessa said.
The motive behind Brenda’s murder is unclear, but there was reportedly some conflict beforehand.
Sydney, a standout student in high school, was suspended from the college she attended, the University of Mount Union, and did not tell her mother about it.
After failing three of her four classes in the fall semester, Sydney had to leave the school in December 2019, school officers Michelle Gaffney and John Frazier testified in court.
“You could tell by a lot of the messages [on Sydney’s phone] that you know, she had not told her family, that her mom wasn’t aware of this,” Akron Police Lieutenant David Whiddon said when he took the stand.
While on the phone with Brenda to discuss Sydney’s suspension, the college said that they heard repeated thuds and screaming.
School officials called the police, and Brenda’s wounded body was found. She died from her injuries at a hospital.
Sydney was charged with her mother’s murder and pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
But Vanessa believes Sydney should be held accountable for her actions.
For Vanessa, this means “that she would be treated like anyone else who would have done this,” she said.