ABC News’ ‘20/20’ features the gruesome and shocking murder of 3-year-old Riley Fox, who was found dead in a creek in Wilmington, Illinois, in an eye-opening episode. It was later found that the toddler was bound and gagged before being sexually assaulted by the cold-blooded murderer. Losing a child is devastating to the parents. Melissa Fox, Riley’s mother, was forced to live out her worst fears after her beloved child was snatched away from her. Let’s find more about Melissa Fox and where she is today, shall we?
Who is Melissa Fox?
Melissa Fox is the mother of Riley fox and the then-wife of Kevin Fox. Kevin and Melissa met while in high school together, and they quickly took to each other and fell in love. After Kevin graduated high school and entered college, Melissa got pregnant with their first child Tyler. The sudden pregnancy rocked their relationship for a while as the couple separated for a while. Yet, the couple soon settled their differences and came together to live as a happy family. Melissa worked as a waitress while her husband was a union painter.
A few years later, the family welcomed little Riley into their midst, and Melissa was a devoted mother to her beautiful children. On the fateful day when Riley’s life was cruelly snuffed out, Melissa was away in Chicago to participate in a breast cancer awareness walk. When Kevin informed her about Riley’s fate, Melissa couldn’t believe it at first. She rushed back home in shock to find the cruel state of affairs and yet, she did her best to assist in the investigation.
Five months after the murder, when Kevin was falsely accused and arrested for Riley’s murder, Melissa stood firmly by her then-husband. Along with the rest of Kevin’s family, she, too, did not believe that the doting father could be the perpetrator of such an atrocious crime. She reassured Kevin that she trusted him and fought alongside him until he was cleared of all charges.
Where is Melissa Fox Now?
In 2009, when the FBI took control of the operation and restarted the investigation, she assisted the agents in every way. The family did receive some closure after Scott Eby was convicted of the crime, but Melissa claimed that the heinous murder of her precious daughter changed their lives forever. Even though Kevin was freed from jail, his false arrest was not forgotten that easily by the community. People around them still thought of Kevin as a murderer and often threatened him.
Moreover, Melissa too was facing the aftermath of the false arrest as no one in their vicinity trusted their family anymore. On one occasion, that greatly hurt Melissa, a child was not allowed to attend a sleepover at their house. Desperate to escape from such an environment, the couple moved to a Chicago suburb and in March 2006 brought baby Teagan into this world. However, Melissa and Kevin decided that they had gone through more than they could bear.
Shortly after, the couple separated but remained on amicable terms with each other. When asked about the reason behind the break-up, Melissa said that Riley’s murder and Kevin’s false arrest greatly hindered and affected their relationship. She went on to say that even though she and Kevin would always remain close to each other and their children, the time they had to go through was extremely rocky and put a lot of stress on them both.
Even after the divorce, she did not blame Kevin and said, “I’ve never wavered on the way I felt about Kevin and what happened that evening. I don’t blame him one bit and never thought he was guilty, and I would still defend him today… whether I’m married to him or not.” Riley’s mother, who now goes by Melissa Hodgens, has seemingly married again and has a loving family that must have certainly helped her get through the entire ordeal.
Read More: Where Is Kevin Fox Now?