The mother of two children found dead in their father’s Nebraska home spent Wednesday making funeral arrangements—picking out the perfect urns for their cremains.
“Emily used to wear her ‘cowgirl boots’ everywhere,” Mary Nielsen said of her 5-year-old daughter. “If I called them ‘cowboy boots,’ she would correct me and say, ‘No mom, they're cowgirl boots.’ So we found a cowgirl boot urn for her.
“We picked one out for Teddy that had a space in front where we could put a picture of Batman in it,” Nielsen said of her 3-year-old son.
In a Facebook live video on Tuesday night, after she brought the children’s bodies to her home state of Illinois, Nielsen said she had also come up with a way to keep Emily and Teddy close to her.
“The kids are going to be cremated. It's mainly because I promised them a lot of adventures. So I'm going to have them made into jewelry so I can take them with me,” she said.
The siblings were killed on a weeklong visit to the home of their father, Adam Price, who was locked in a bitter divorce and custody battle with Nielsen.
They were supposed to check in every day, and Nielsen grew worried when she did not hear from them Friday or Saturday and alerted police
Cops showed up Saturday night and again on Sunday morning, but did not “observe exigent circumstances that would allow them to force entry into the home,” Capt. Andy Jashinske said in a statement. By Sunday morning, Nielsen said, “I had a bad feeling in my stomach.” She asked a friend to go check on the kids. They broke into Price’s house and discovered Emily and Teddy’s bodies in their beds.
Price was nowhere to be found.
“Our old neighbor actually saw Adam packing up all his stuff Thursday night,” Nielsen said. “It was kind of suspicious because he said he was going for a long weekend. The police said most of his clothes were gone. He took his personal computer but he had left his cell phone at the house.”
He was arrested Sunday night in Pacifica, California—a 25-hour drive from Bellevue—after an automated license plate reader in Nevada clocked him going by.
Authorities said they are awaiting test results before announcing the children’s cause of death, but they charged Price, for now, with two counts of felony child abuse resulting in death, Sarpy County, Nebraska Chief Deputy Attorney Bonnie Moore told The Daily Beast.
Price appeared in California court on Wednesday afternoon and waived his right to challenge extradition, clearing the way for him to return home to face charges.
Reached by phone, Price’s father, Duane Price, declined to comment on the allegations against his son.
Nielsen, who has been getting donations for the funeral through GoFundMe, is planning a private viewing on Friday for family and a small group of close friends. On Saturday at 1 p.m., she will host a public memorial at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Rock Falls, Illinois. The pastor who baptized Nielsen as a child will lead the ceremony, and Nielsen’s old music teacher will perform.
Nielsen described her two kids as “bright and so giving.” When people talked to Emily, “You’d think you were talking to an 8-year-old or a 9-year-old,” she said. And Teddy was “a mama’s boy, he just wanted to constantly be held and loved.” As for Price, Nielsen said, “The only thing that people need to know about him is that he’s a fucking monster.”
Still, Nielsen is trying to protect Price’s family’s feelings as they mourn the death of their grandchildren along with her.
“I'm not going to go into that a whole lot because I do still have some of his family on Facebook,” she said in her Tuesday video on Facebook. “And as much as I am hurt by it. I also don't want them to feel any pain from this, either. They lost their family, and their family possibly was the cause of the loss of their family.”