"Please tell them," her sister recalled their final phone call. "She kept reiterating those words."
Trigger warning: This article contains graphic descriptions of violence and themes of domestic abuse that some readers may find distressing
A family in California suffered a terrible tragedy with the loss of Rhona Fantone, a 30-year-old dedicated certified nursing assistant at Sharp Coronado Hospital. She was stabbed to death by her husband. According to family members, the Filipino mother was having marital problems with her Filipino-American husband of four years, Jay Barcelon. Fantone had two children from a previous relationship. Her family immigrated from Zambales, Philippines about 20 years ago and she is one of four sisters. Her sister revealed that Fantone made a final call to her before being attacked. She asked her sister to let her kids know that she loved them.
Slain Fil-Am woman's last wish to sister: 'Tell my kids I love them'https://t.co/lukMPh2BGO— TFC News (@TFCNewsNow) April 29, 2021
Professionally, she was on her way to becoming a nurse and spent her time helping many battling COVID-19. "She’s a frontliner. She survived taking care of COVID patients and in general, sick people. But she didn’t survive this tragedy. It's very sad," said her sister Rhoda, according to ABS CBN News.
The horrific incident took place last year after Fantone was planning to spend the night of April 16th at her sister's house which was 15 minutes away. Rhona called her sister and said her husband had locked her in a closet and would not let her leave."I received a call from her. She was telling me to tell her 2 kids that she loves them so much, like repeatedly telling me to 'tell my kids I love them so much.' Please tell them, she kept reiterating those words," said Rhoda. Her 32-year-old husband admitted in El Cajon Superior Court that he used a knife in the attack in the couple’s home on April 16, 2021, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. Barcelon, a US Navy sailor, was booked into prison and charged with first-degree murder.
Woman Stabbed to Death by Husband Called Sister and Said: 'Tell My Kids I Love Them' https://t.co/bdFFhl4XnR— People (@people) November 7, 2022
"Based on the investigation, homicide detectives concluded Jay stabbed Rhona while inside the residence. Jay also sustained injuries during the altercation," the sheriff's office said in a statement on April 17, 2021, according to PEOPLE. NBC San Diego reports that officials heard screaming inside the home when they arrived and forced their way inside. The suspect and his wife were both found to be stabbed.
A GoFundMe for the young mom's life called her death a sudden and needless act done "by the one who was supposed to have loved her the most. At just 30 years old, she had so much life left to live. The life she lived, before it was taken away in one fatal, cowardly act, was driven by her love for her two children, EJ and Katy. They were everything to her. In fact, her last words were an expression of the depths of her love for her children."
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe
If you are being subjected to domestic abuse or know of anyone else who is, please visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline website or call 1-800-799-7233, or text LOVEIS to 22522.