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March 2, 2024

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Washougal victim’s family: Grief, frustration, financial burden

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter

Becky Mohagen saw her stepdaughter on Father’s Day 2019 — two days before her murder.

Linda Burdick, 49, had told her parents about some issues at home, but she assured them, “Bobby would never hurt me,” Mohagen recalled.

“The next words we heard were, ‘Help me. He’s going to kill me,’ ” the mother told a Clark County Superior Court judge in February.

Robert W. Burdick, 56, held his wife hostage at their Washougal apartment before stabbing her multiple times in the early morning hours of June 18. She died at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver after surgeons attempted to save her life.

He was sentenced last month to 25 years in prison.

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A Clark County Sheriff's Investigator searches his vehicle for gear while investigating a stabbing assault on West Lookout Ridge Drive in Washougal on Tuesday morning, June 18, 2109.Washougal victim’s family: Grief, frustration, financial burden
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Although the court process was completed in less than a year, Linda Burdick’s father and stepmother said it felt like an eternity.

“Everything that was done during the court process, it was done on (Robert Burdick’s) behalf. We had little say in anything until about a month before the sentencing,” said John Mohagen, Linda Burdick’s father.

Becky Mohagen said there were hurdles right away, from being locked out of her daughter’s apartment to family members having to clean up the crime scene. The financial burden left behind by a domestic violence homicide falls on the family, she said.

The Mohagens praised the work of their victim advocate, who quickly answered their questions and endured their frustrations. One of the hardest parts about the process, beyond grief, was dealing with large gaps of time and hearing nothing from court officials.

Linda Burdick’s parents advised people going through similar experiences to expect hardships and accept help from anyone willing to offer it.

“People should be ready for it to truly never end, honestly, and to fall back on the support of family and friends,” Becky Mohagen said.

Columbian Breaking News Reporter