Kayla White says she would do anything to have her son Tate Buening back. He was killed by his own father in a murder-suicide in August.
As White continues to grieve, she also wishes some things would've been handled differently. She’s hoping her lawsuit, filed against the estate of her son’s father and killer, will help bring awareness to the circumstances surrounding her son’s murder.
"I would burn the whole world down if I felt like I could get real justice for my son's murder," White said. “As far as suing the estate, I feel like it’s not going to bring Tate back, but we could do something with any assets that we gain from it to keep that awareness going or to honor him.”
She doesn't want Tate's death to be forgotten. A month before the tragic murder-suicide in Harvest, White had filed a motion to suspend visitation between 10-year-old Tate and his father. She said he was sending her threatening messages.
A hearing was set for a few weeks later. White's attorney, Will League of the Law Firm of Siniard, Timberlake and League, said the courts failed to recognize the urgency of her case due to a shortage of judges in Madison County.
"They're overrun with domestic cases and other types of cases, and with more judges, there would be more eyes available to handle emergency cases such as this," League said.
"I want to bring awareness that a threat to a parent should be a threat to a child, because you never know when they're going to use them against you," White said.
She described her son as "just sweet, loving, a heart of gold — just the best kid ever." White said the Madison County sheriff's deputy who responded the day she called for a welfare check was not helpful.
She eventually went into the home herself and found the bodies of her ex-husband and son. She said it could've been avoided and now questions policies and procedures as they relate to welfare checks.
"If I never would've had to enter that home — not that my heart wouldn't be in a million pieces — but I wouldn't have seen my child the way that I saw him, and I feel like there is no remorse," White said.
White said everyone else who showed up that day — including the Madison County sheriff — was very kind and generous. She said she would like to have a conversation with them to talk about what could've been done differently.
WAAY 31 reached out to the sheriff's office Wednesday afternoon for comment and has not heard back yet.