Family of slain woman questions why body wasn't found sooner

The family of a woman allegedly murdered by her common-law husband wants to know why two Dallas police officers responding to a 911 call earlier this week did not go inside their Oak Cliff apartment.

The woman's body was found Wednesday when the suspect, Jonathan Edelen, called 911 himself and eventually confessed.

A neighbor heard screams and fighting and called 911. Then, a Dallas Police Department trainer and his recruit arrived at that apartment and spoke to the man who answered the door and left.

But that isn't sitting well with the family of the victim, Ceaira Ford, since they believe she was likely killed around the time 911 was called.

"If the police would've went inside the house, the kids would've ran outside the room. They never went inside," said Sarah Ford, the victim's mother.  

Sarah Ford thinks her daughter's life could've been saved if police had crossed her threshold at her west Oak Cliff apartment.

"Ceaira had been in that house all day dead and no one cared," said Sarah.

At 10:45 p.m. Monday, an upstairs neighbor called 911 after hearing an argument.

That neighbor did not answer her door when officers knocked 28 minutes later, so police say the responding pair went to the apartment where the alleged domestic disturbance occurred, but didn't see any warning signs.

"You look to see if there are signs of a disturbance," said Assistant Chief Randy Blankenbaker with the Dallas Police Department. "Is furniture turned over? Things like that. You look at the demeanor of the person you're talking to, trying to determine, are they scratched? Are they bleeding? Are they breathing hard?"

Police say the pair spoke to a family friend named Rodney who answered the door, but did not go inside.

Two days later, 34-year-old Edelen called 911, saying Ceaira was dead.

When first responders arrived, they say Edelen confessed to suffocating her with a blanket and pillow, telling them, "Put the cuffs on me and take me to jail, I killed my wife."

Ceaira's mother insists if the officers would've walked into the apartment Monday, they would've discovered something was wrong.

"Maybe she would have been alive, maybe she wouldn't have, but she wouldn't have had to last that long with the kids playing around her trying to wake their mama up," said Sarah.

For almost two days, 28-year-old Ceaira's body lay in her bed with her two young children, a 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter, playing steps away.

"The 6-year-old year old, he broke down," said Sarah. "He finally broke down in tears because he knows they're not gonna see their mama no more, and I'm not gonna see my child no more."

There had been previous domestic calls to that address, but it's unclear if the two officers who responded Monday night knew about that history.

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