Son recalls mother slain by boyfriend: ‘Anybody instantly would fall in love when you met her’

GREENSBURG, Ind. -- Lake Sabatini was stretched out on the couch downstairs in his mother’s house on East Washington Street in Greensburg last Tuesday when a police officer came to the door.

“I was laying down when the police showed up and said that, ‘We got a call that there was a gunshot.’

“One of the officers said, ‘I know where your mom’s boyfriend is at,’ and I said, ‘He’s with you, isn’t he?’ and I instantly knew that he killed my mom.”

The 18-year-old high school senior talked to his mom a couple hours earlier, as she prepared to go to work at a Decatur County auto plant, and Wendy Sabatini offered no hint of problems.

Following the phone call, as the teen worked at his after school job, Greensburg police said Jason Eric Eaton admitted to them he intended to ask Wendy Sabatini to marry him, but before he could ask the question, the divorced mother of two said no.

“I already knew that she was gonna say no,” said Lake. “She just didn’t want to get married again. She was married before.  She just didn’t want to go do that again.”

Investigators said Eaton told them he retrieved Sabatini’s gun from a nightstand, snuck up behind her and fired once. Then he surrendered at Greensburg police headquarters and confessed to what he had done.

Meanwhile, Lake Sabatini returned home, made dinner and relaxed, not knowing his mother was dead in her second floor bedroom.

“The house looked different,” he said, “and I don’t know why I didn’t go upstairs.”

Sabatini shared the home with his mother and Eaton.

“He had a rough past but we didn’t care about that. We loved him as he was and he treated us well.

“Anybody instantly would fall in love when you met her. She was a wonderful person. She was clean cut. If she needed to tell you she wouldn’t sugar coat it. She would tell you and just make everything feel better.

“He was supposed to adopt me, to be my dad. I trusted him in every way and then this happens.

“I don’t know how he could do that. My mom was so nice to him and my mom even helped him in any way she could.”

Wendy Sabatini’s sister was likewise shocked by the killing and the confessed killer.

“I would have never seen this side out of him but I guess you truly don’t know everybody,” said Heather Rasmus. “He just didn’t get the answer he wanted.

“She was a very stern woman. She stood her ground.”

Rasmus held a portrait of her sister and her beloved Harley Davidson motorcycle as she welcomed friends and family to a Logansport funeral home.

“She loved that motorcycle,” Rasmus said, recalling what she would miss most of Wendy. “How fun she was. Her contagious smile. Her friendliness. Its who she was.”

Rasmus said her sister’s body will be accompanied by motorcycle riding supporters to her final resting place Monday.

Lake Sabatini said he intends to become a motorcycle mechanic and work on his mother’s bike.

The family has established a GoFundMe account to provide for Sabatini’s two children and raise awareness of domestic violence.

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