Boca mom killed by husband in front of kids

Gemma Burlakoff
Gemma Burlakoff

BOCA RATON, FL (WFLX) - Linda Villareale only has bits and pieces of how her daughter, Gemma Burlakoff, was killed Sunday night.

The first came in a phone call from her 12-year-old granddaughter Sunday night. "'Mima' -- which is the name my grandchildren call me -- she said, 'Go outside by Gigi's house. Go outside. The police are there. I just saw my daddy kill my mom," said Linda Villareale.

Burlakoff, 37, had just been shot by her husband, Ian, who was then shot by police. Three of their children saw the long-standing dispute end. "Possibly, he was going through her telephone, and he became incensed about something," said Villareale. "She did not need to die like an animal in the street."

Divorce papers allege Gemma Burlakoff wasted thousands of dollars on shoes and purses and says she is capable of working but chose not to. The marriage was "irretrievably broken". "I tried all summer to make her realize that once there's these issues in a marriage, it's time to walk away. She couldn't -- she couldn't for the sake of the children," said Villareale.

The four kids are with relatives. Lives are now forever changed. Villareale is thinking about how her daughter changed hers. "When you got to her heart, she was yours forever. She got to mine when I held her for the first time. She will always have mine when I hold her on  Wednesday and Thursday, and I put her back in God's hands," said Villareale.

She says her new goal in life is to raise awareness about domestic violence. She says her daughter's goal in life had been to marry well.

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