When 34-year-old Navy petty officer Sherri Lynn Panzer Malarik was shot to death on the evening of September 21, 2001, it honestly shattered her entire family apart in more ways than one. After all, as carefully explored in ‘Dateline: The Sleepover,’ while some of her young kids believed their father/stepfather was responsible from the get-go, the others trusted his innocence. So now, if you simply wish to learn more about them — the blended Malarik brood to have grown utterly divided over the past 23 years — we’ve got all the necessary details for you.
Who Are Sherri and Greg Malarik’s Kids?
It was reportedly back in the 1990s when Sherri first came across Navy civilian officer Gregory “Greg” Malarik as they were both stationed in Bermuda, only for them to soon fall head over heels. The truth is they’d each previously had long-term unions that obviously didn’t pan out in the way they’d expected, yet they still had little to no issues coming together owing to their sheer passion. They thus decided to tie the knot in 1994, knowing full well the former would be bringing in her 4-year-old son Jacob into the marriage while her beau had an older girl plus his 4-year-old Greg Jr.
According to Jacob, home life was blissful for this family of five in their initial few years, just for everything to turn upside down once his mother and stepfather began welcoming children of their own. That’s because they had three in rather quick succession — Jay Malarik, Jamie Malarik, as well as Tera Melarik — which then constantly made them feel tired and outnumbered at the same time. “This was kind of a shock to the family system, right?,” he said. “We just went from a very small group to a very big group pretty quickly. So from one kid, two parents, to… [five kids] and a newborn.”
However, what baffled Jacob the most was the way Greg subsequently became abusive to the youngsters whenever his wife wasn’t around — he once even force-fed him peppers as punishment. Hence, of course, he vividly remembers almost every trace of his loving mother even though he was merely 11 when she was unexpectedly taken from him, including the last time he ever saw her. He once expressed in court, “I just remember my mom walking by and saying nonchalantly, ‘Hey, I’m going to go outside to talk to your dad,'” only to never return as she was killed and abandoned.
Coming to what Greg’s biological son and Jacob’s closest confidant recalls, Greg Jr. is actually on the same boat as the latter in terms of how he views his father plus his demeanor towards the family. Moreover, both these then-11-year-olds knew for a fact he was cheating on Sherri with their babysitter, Jennifer Spohn, due to how much time they spent alone together and how unsubtle they were. As if that’s not enough, they have since attested to the fact he did own a small caliber handgun, but they never saw it at home again following the fateful day, at which point all their half-siblings were under 6.
Where Are Sherri and Greg Malarik’s Kids Now?
If we’re being honest, Greg’s eldest daughter, Jay, as well as Jamie, have always managed to keep a relatively low profile despite the public ordeals surrounding them so as to keep away from prying eyes. We thus, unfortunately, don’t know much regarding any of their recent personal or professional experiences; all we know is that they likely still reside in their native Florida with families of their own. As for Greg Jr., aka Little Greg, it appears as if this Pensacola, Florida-based hard worker currently serves as a Hospitality Professional in the metropolitan area to make a good living for himself plus his loved ones.
Then there’s Jacob, a happily married father from Pensacola who not only graduated from the University of Central Florida with a business degree in 2015 but also owns-operates the Titusville CrossFit Gym at the moment. It’s also imperative to note that upon testifying at both of his stepfather’s trials — the first ended in a mistrial, whereas he was acquitted in the second — he’s now trying to move on from the past to the best of his abilities.
“As soon as [the jury] announced not guilty, I was very surprised,” Jacob said in an interview after all proceedings were said and done. “My very first thought was this is completely done and over with, and that was our one shot and it’s gone. I was definitely disappointed. I was definitely heartbroken,” which is why he hopes the police would somehow continue looking into his mother’s cold case.
Last but definitely not least, we have Sherri and Greg’s youngest, Tera, who was roughly 2 years old when her mother was killed yet is now a proud married woman caring for her father. “My feeling when [the jury] read out the verdict was relieved, but I had mixed feelings,” the Pensacola resident told the News Journal in 2023. “On one hand, I’m glad the jury saw what I see, and I’m glad they were able to see that he’s not guilty of this.”
This athletic trainer for the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics then concluded, “It would suck to lose the only parent I have left. On the other hand, it’s upsetting that the investigators just did an awful job with what they were supposed to be doing that they didn’t find out what actually happened to mom that night… I didn’t realize how much [this whole matter] was being weighed down. So, coming into a new normal would just be great, not having all of this over our heads.”