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For week ended October 31, 1999 Posted 31 Oct 1999

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A senseless tragedy: Families struggle with tragic deaths

Summarized by Kent Larsen

A senseless tragedy: Families struggle with tragic deaths
(Phoenix) AZ Republic 25Oct99 D2
By Lisa Gonderinger: The Arizona Republic

The murder-suicide of Jennifer Ann Daniel and Dan Pasek on Friday, October 22nd leaves the families of both victims struggling to understand. Two facts about their relationship may help the families make some sense of this senseless tragedy. Daniel was pregnant with Pasek's child, and she also was engaged to marry an LDS returned missionary.

Daniel and Pasek met and became friends at the Tempe, Arizona call center where they both worked. They started dating last January and Daniel discovered she was pregnant in July. When Daniel's boyfriend returned from his LDS misison in August, however, they officially became engaged and Daniel told Pasek she didn't want to talk to him any more. She said that even if she weren't engaged to someone else, she and Pasek didn't have enough money and weren't ready to be parents, according to Pasek's mother. Family members say that there had never been any violence between them.

She also said she wanted to give the baby up for adoption, "She had great plans for her baby and wanted it to be in a family that loved it, and she did not see that situation in her life at this time," said Daniel's mother, Deanna Daniel. "She felt very confident that what she was doing for her baby was the right thing."

But Pasek's background must have made this hard to take. Adopted by the Pasek's when he was 3 months old, he never knew his biological parents. His adoptive parents divorced when he was 10, leaving him without a relationship with his adoptive father either. His mother says that fatherhood was very important to him as a result, "For the first time in his life, he had what he wanted," said family friend Gary Wasson. "He had a job he loved, a woman he loved, and something of his genes had been created." Pasek's sister Kallee agrees, "He wanted to be a good husband and a happy father. That was his whole focus."

But Pasek's family says that in spite of this, he was not mad at Daniel, nor was he jealous of her fiance, "If anything, he blamed himself,"said his mother, KaRin Varner. He had long conversations with her about taking custody of the child, and even suggested that Daniel and her fiance could take the child. But evidently nothing worked out. Both families are now struggling with what led Pasek to take the leap from his situation to violence.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information