Sanford, N.C. — The family of a woman Sanford police said was killed by her husband on Wednesday are devastated by what happened, and even more devastated that they can’t get her child home.
Deanna ‘Missy’ Michelle Bockes was found dead inside a home in the 3000 block of Lee Avenue in Sanford during a welfare check. An Amber Alert was then issued for her daughter, Riley Harper Bockes, 3.
Hours later, Riley’s father and Deanna’s husband, Brent James Bockes, crashed his vehicle near Murfreesboro, Tenn., and ran with his child, but he was captured and she was taken to safety.
Brent Bockes is charged with first-degree murder, robbery and larceny of a motor vehicle.
According to Deanna Bockes’ family, she was a mother of two daughters and a hard worker who held down two jobs.
“It’s unreal because she’s always been so full of love and full of life,” described her mother, Cheryl Brown.
Brown said Deanna and Brent Brockes, who had been married for five years, “had their ups and downs.”
“He could be the best guy in the world or he could be the most violent person around,” she described.
Court records showed Brent Bockes had been charged with assault by strangulation, assault on a female and misdemeanor child abuse in March of 2021. He was found guilty of assault on a female, records showed, and the assault by strangulation and misdemeanor child abuse charges were voluntarily dismissed. A reason for the dismissal was not shown in court records.
He also has 14 pending charges and court dates in two counties, including allegations of drinking and driving, resisting arrest and misdemeanor child abuse.
“She was private. She didn’t like to bother people with her problems,” said Brown.
The family sent an older sister, Erica, to bring Riley home, but that didn’t happen on Thursday.
“They won’t release her to Erica. They were supposed to go to court [Friday], and now they’re saying they don’t know because of the weather and stuff,” said Brown. “They had about three inches of snow, but I don’t understand why they can’t just let [Erica] bring [Riley] home. She needs to be with her family right now — both of them do.”
Family said Erica is 30 years old and has three children of her own.
“[Riley] needs to be with her sister, and Erica needs to be home with her three kids,” said Brown.
Deanna Bockes’ family also had advice for those who might be worried about a loved one.
“Don’t take any chances,” said Brown. “If you think there’s a problem, jump right in the middle of it and stop it.”