Crime Victims Assistance Center: Go With Your Gut

By Brennan Smith

May 21, 2012 Updated May 21, 2012 at 10:40 PM EST

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Investigators, reporters and those who work with crime victims are still asking how it could have happened.

Broome County Sheriff's deputies have figured out this much: after a day at the zoo, 39-year-old Melissa Oney tells her husband Larry she wants a divorce.

Deputies say the 61-year-old physician's assistant assaulted her, cutting her Achilles tendon, before tying her up and threatening to burn down the house with their 3-year-old daughter Allison inside.

"He decided to kill her, then he changed his mind, and decided to kill just his daughter and himself while she would watch and that would be implanted in her mind for the rest of her life," said Broome County Sheriff David Harder.

Melissa Oney is the only surviving witness after she managed to escape from the neckties that bound her to her vehicle and call 911.

Deputies raced to the scene, but when they got there, the house was engulfed in flames so hot, ammunition inside the home was discharging.

That's because the home, built in the late 1800's, was drenched in gasoline.

Deputies believe Larry Oney shot his daughter in the torso and himself in the head.

"I think it's really important that people pay attention to their gut feeling about things. I don't think people do that enough. If they have a concern about how somebody might react to something, then they should listen to that concern," said Raini Baudendistel, Executive Director of the Crime Victims Assistance Center.

The Crime Victims Assistance Center says if you're a victim, speak up, call a crisis hotline, or speak with someone you trust in a safe place.

"I know a lot of times people don't want to get involved, and it can be very scary, legitimiately so, buit I think it's very important to find what we feel comfortable in doing to actually respond and not just walk past," said Baudendistel.

The number for the Crime Victim's Assistance Center Hotline is 722-4256.

That organization will offer care to Melissa Oney as she continues to recover.