Corning murder victim's father speaks out
It's been almost a week since Clark VanEtten, 26, was murdered in Corning, but his father and stepmother say the rumors about him using drugs must be laid to rest. Our Lara Greenberg reports.
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CORNING, N.Y. -- "A parent shouldn't have to go see their child's cold, lifeless body. They shouldn't have to see the bloody crime scene. I did,” said Richard VanEtten, victim’s father.
Richard VanEtten says this past week has been a blur. His son Clark was allegedly stabbed to death last weekend in his Park Avenue apartment in Corning.
Investigators say Marland Brooks and Samantha Smith attacked him over money and drugs, but VanEtten's dad and stepmom say Clark wasn't using and they want to put a stop to the rumors.
"Clark worked 12, 14 hours a day. People that do drugs don't work that much. He went every day. He was trying to get custody of his kids,” said Pam VanEtten, victim's stepmother.
The VanEttens believe Brooks and Smith were the ones using drugs. They were both charged with one count of murder and are being held in Chemung County Jail without bail.
Meanwhile, the VanEttens are still struggling to deal with what happened.
"At first I thought it was a big joke. You know? And it wasn't. It was a mess,” said Richard.
They want Clark to be remembered as a hard worker and a diligent father to 6-year-old Devon and 2-year-old Kadence.
"Devon and Kadence, he just did everything. He lived for them,” said Richard.
The children are now living with their mother. Richard says Devon is broken-hearted over the loss and Kadence is too young to understand, but Richard says he, himself, never will.
The VanEttens say there will be no formal funeral service for Clark. Instead, a memorial will be held this Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Hornby Fire Hall.