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Wolfeboro, NH

Mothers Day marks tragic loss for Natick children

NATICK — After three years, he is still out there. The person who killed Stacey Burns gets to walk around, while five motherless kids, a shattered family, and countless friends try to hold themselves together. ‘‘So many people are angry and frustrated,’’ says Stacey’s older brother Michael Keane, 45, sitting in the living room of their childhood home in Natick Friday. ‘‘I guess I am, too. That person is living their life. They get to see their children and have joy if they choose. They’ve put our family through hell.’’ Stacey and Michael, just a couple of years apart, were always close. In college, they told friends they were twins. He was always in awe of his younger sister’s incredible energy, and of the way ‘‘she filled everyone’s buckets. She sensed in you if you needed something, and she provided it.’’ Ads by Google Financial Services Career Start Your Career with a MassMutual Agency. Learn More & Apply Today! www.MassMutualCare ers.com Cabot VT Greek Yogurt Replace the fat in muffins, cakes & breads. Find Cabot Recipes online! www.cabotcheese.co op She’d pull into her driveway, in Wolfeboro, N.H., where she was raising her kids after a bitter divorce, and neighbors would converge. ‘‘For God’s sake, could we just have her for two minutes?’’ her sister Kelly would joke. Stacey, an elementary school nurse, never burdened her family with her problems — ‘‘her tragic trait,’’ Michael calls it. Her brother doesn’t want to talk about it, but divorce papers show Stacey feared her former husband, Ed Burns, and said he had been abusive. At the time of the killing, the two were at odds again and headed back to court. After the marriage ended, Stacey dated a Wolfeboro logger named Jim Vittum for a year. Stacey had broken off that relationship, but Vittum, a loner and divorced father of two living in his former wife’s basement, refused to accept that, her friends and family said. She tried to convince Vittum it was over, once and for all, the afternoon before she died. But he showed up at her house that night, sitting down to watch a movie with the kids. ‘‘She had bad taste in men,’’ Michael said. ‘‘She always did, God love her.’’ Early on Mother’s Day, 2009, Stacey’s two teenage children discovered her body, on the floor beside her bed, stabbed dozens of times. Somebody had slipped into the unlocked house, killed her quickly and savagely, and gotten out. Police questioned her former husband, who is now raising the couple’s five children. ‘‘We believe Ed is not the murderer,’’ Michael said.  (May 19, 2012 | post #1)