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Putnam County deputies meet with mental health professional after murders of 2 boys

‘This scene was ... likely the worst that I’ve seen in more than 20 years of law enforcement’

Putnam County deputies responded Wednesday to Shiloh Road.
Putnam County deputies responded Wednesday to Shiloh Road. (WJXT)

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. – Putnam County deputies have been suffering from what’s described as a form of post-traumatic stress disorder after the murders of two children.

According to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Mark Wilson Jr., 30, used a knife and a hammer to kill Robert Baker, 12, and Tayten Baker, 14, last week inside their Melrose home.

News4Jax was told there were deputies who were so traumatized by the scene that they had to attend a mandatory debriefing on Monday with Dr. Tina Jaeckle, a licensed mental health professional who also provides services for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

“Many of these detectives and deputies that were there have children. Some may even have young boys at this age, so it hits home. And it’s definitely that something that can stick with them for a long period of time if not properly managed,” said Col. Joe Wells, with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office. “This scene was ... likely the worst that I’ve seen in more than 20 years of law enforcement.”

News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson, a retired JSO officer, said he understands what those deputies are going through.

“I have scenes in the back of my head that I have experienced during my 24-year career in law enforcement. Every person is different, and those images never leave you,” Jefferson said.

Jefferson said most law enforcement officers will eventually come across a gruesome crime scene.

“If you don’t get the help and you think you’re OK, it can be impactful how you deal with calls or investigations in some kind of way,” Jefferson said.

According to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Wilson is being held without bond and is heavily guarded in isolation.


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