One of the worst scenarios for a parent to be in is dealing with the loss of their child. It is much worse when the cause of death is not natural. Such was the fate that Teri Knight, the mother of 14-year-old Sarah and 11-year-old Philip, was dealt. What makes the case even worse is that it was her ex-husband and the father, 44-year-old Manuel Gehring, who shot the kids. This case has been explored in Investigation Discovery’s ‘Evil Lives Here: I Don’t Believe in Forgiveness.’
Who is Teri Knight?
Teri Knight first met her ex-husband Manuel Gehring when the pair went to a boarding school in Vermont in 1979. They got married in 1985 but had gotten a divorce by 2001. A ferocious custody battle also ensued. Around that time, Teri had married James Knight and was even expecting twins. As per the latest hearing, it was Gehring who had more time with the children. However, he was still not content with this and said that the events created a “downward spiral” in his children’s lives, due to which he killed them.
The custody battle had both parents declaring their love of the children. However, when it came to Gehring, it seemed as though he could only talk the talk. Knight described her ex-husband as violent and controlling. She even rescinded a case against him when he hit her while she was pregnant with Philip in 1991. She also said that he was interested in online pornography and chat rooms, because of which she felt that there may have been sexual misconduct against her daughter at his hands. However, no such allegations were ever levied against the now-deceased Gehring.
The mother also stated that Gehring only started becoming more active in his children’s lives after she got remarried. Up until then, it was commonplace for him to be late while picking them up or even forgetting their birthdays. Sarah’s boyfriend at the time also stated that the daughter and father argued often. In fact, the boyfriend’s father, who was a school administrator, also said that Gehring was aggressive and always wanted to know where his daughter was.
Gehring killed himself while he was in jail awaiting trial. He anyway did not remember the exact location of the burial sites in the Midwest, but after his death, the task became even more challenging. However, Teri did not give up. The nurse made trips to the Midwest and took it upon herself to contribute to the search efforts. She also sought help from the public.
Where is Teri Knight Today?
Teri was able to alleviate some grief owing to her family, especially with her twin daughters Molly and Mallory. In an interview with the New York Times, she said that she was grateful for the stresses of motherhood being reduced due to her prior experience, stating, “So your babies are waking up and crying. You know where they are. They’re fine. Why should that be a stressful thing?”
But Teri could never forget some of the most painful dreams she’s ever had. One such dream involved her daughter Sarah screaming so uncontrollably that even after waking up, nothing gave the mother any solace. She also told the newspaper of another dream— “I had a dream that Philip and I were playing that game where you bundle them up in a blanket and open it up and say, ‘There you are.’ But when I opened up the blanket, he said, ‘Mommy, I’m so cold.’ When I woke up, I learned that that night snow fell on the Midwest. And I knew that as long as there was snow cover, nothing’s going to be found.”
It was in 2005 that the bodies of her deceased children were finally discovered in Hudson, Ohio, by Stephanie Dietrich and her dog Ricco. The New Hampshire resident was thankful, to say the least, that her children could be laid to rest properly. They had been wrapped in plastic and also had a cross made with duct tape on their chests. Teri went to the gravesite, however, she did not publicize the trip. She was asked if the identification, after a two-year struggle, gave her any relief. To this, she responded, “How does a mother say goodbye? There’s no proper way.”
Since the case, she has been quite private about her personal life, and so there is no credible information on her whereabouts today. However, the one thing we were able to find was that she was present, along with her husband, at the FBI office when Stephanie was honored for her contribution to the case in 2006. We hope that Teri has found some peace after having faced this really traumatic experience.
Read More: Where is Stephanie Dietrich Now?