Sheriff: Children watch as their father stabs their mother - News, Weather & Sports

Sheriff: Children watch as their father stabs their mother

Tara Blankenbaker (Source: Facebook) Tara Blankenbaker (Source: Facebook)
Charles "Ross" Blankenbaker (Source: Washington County, IN Jail) Charles "Ross" Blankenbaker (Source: Washington County, IN Jail)
Gary Surber Gary Surber
The Surber home. The Surber home.

AUSTIN, IN (WAVE) – A mother was stabbed over and over in front of her children and investigators say their father is to blame. It happened at the victim's grandparents' house in Austin. Tara Blankenbaker, 24, is in critical condition, but she is stable at University Hospital. 

Her estranged husband, Charles "Ross" Blankenbaker is there as well, but the Scott County Sheriff's Office says there is an arrest warrant for waiting for him when he gets out.

Gary Surber, Tara's grandfather, said all she ever wanted out of her estranged husband was to be a good father.

"He was on drugs and she just got tired of it and told him that he was going to have to find a job, straighten up, and start providing for the two kids and do something you know," said Surber.

Tara left Ross with their two kids less than two weeks ago and moved in with her grandparents in their home on West State Road 256. Thursday night, investigators say Ross stopped by the house and asked Tara to go on a ride with him. 

"I guess he had told her in the car, when he got in the car, if he couldn't have her, there wasn't nobody that was going to have her," said Surber.

Surber said once the couple got back, Tara took her children, ages 2 and 4, into the back bedroom. Then Surber said Tara allowed Ross to come in. Moments later chaos broke out. 

"The kids are just screaming and hollering 'Mommy' and Jo, my wife, got up and went into the bedroom and there she laid in a puddle of blood," said Surber.

While Surber said he frantically called 911, Ross was able to slip out.

"All she could say was tell my wife to be sure and take care of my kids," said Surber.

According to Surber, his granddaughter was stabbed four times. The doctor told her she as lucky to be alive.

"She could be paralyzed, but it is in God's hands. That's all I can say," said Surber.

Now Surber must stay strong for his family especially his four year old grandson.

"He has not mentioned his dad period, since that has happened and before that's all he could say, 'I want to see my daddy.' He knows what happened," said Surber.

Deputies were able to track down Ross Blankenbaker in Washington County. He was suffering from a stab wound to the chest and flown to University Hospital. Investigators are trying to determine if his wound was self-inflicted. 

Ross Blankenbaker is expected to be formally charged in Scott County next week.

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