Fairbanks family mourns loss of woman, children slain by husband

Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2000

An Alaska AP Member Exchange

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Former Fairbanks resident Tina Wood was one of those people who drew the world to her, said her mother. She was bright, friendly, and could do just about anything, from play the piano to cut her children's hair.

''Anything she wanted to learn to do, she could do it,'' her mother, Cheryl Egan, said Tuesday night.

Wood, 31, and four of her six children died Monday in Missouri in a tragedy her family here can hardly begin to absorb.

Wood's husband, Raymond, has been taken into custody in Warrensburg, Mo., and charged with the shooting deaths of Tina and their children Jared, 10, Joshua, 8, Emily, 7 and Hannah, 5.

The youngest of the Wood children, Moriah, 4, and Katlin, 2, survived the shooting but remain hospitalized. Moriah was listed in critical condition and Katlin was in fair condition Tuesday.

Raymond Wood was held under a $2 million bond after being arraigned Tuesday on five counts of first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault and seven counts of armed criminal action.

Wood said Tuesday that he was ''just starting to understand what happened.''

''My wife is innocent,'' Raymond Wood, 36, said in response to questions as he left the Johnson County Courthouse after his arraignment. ''My children are innocent and beautiful.''

In Fairbanks, Egan, her husband, Michael, and their daughters Ginger, Julie and Amy were preparing Tuesday night to board a plane for Missouri to take care of Moriah and Katlin, make funeral arrangements and sort out the affairs of the young family.

Tina Wood was born in Fairbanks, the oldest of four sisters, on June 13, 1968. She attended Barnette Elementary School, Ryan Middle School and Lathrop High School, from which she graduated in 1986.

Wood was an honor student with a gift for music, her mother said. She played the clarinet in high school and joined the jazz band at Lathrop her freshman year. She also took private piano lessons with Karen Johnson and loved classical music.

She also did ordinary things in high school--played softball, babysat, was a member of the German Club and delivered newspapers for the News-Miner. She worked in the News-Miner's circulation department.

After graduation, Wood studied music at Graceland College in Iowa, and then at the University of Alaska Anchorage before marrying Raymond Wood in Anchorage in 1987. The Woods have lived in Missouri for a little over 10 years, Egan said.

There she home-schooled the older children, baked the family's bread and kept livestock. Goats were milked twice a day because one of the children was allergic to cow's milk.

''She was very dedicated to her family,'' Egan said.

She also continued her piano studies. When she decided she knew enough, she began giving lessons, passing on what she had learned. ''She was just really good at teaching her students,'' Egan said. ''They loved her.''

Wood was active in her church and served as its music director, Egan said. Wood and her husband often helped those who were less fortunate.

Egan said she and her husband and her daughters are having a difficult time taking in what has happened. Raymond Wood was a loving father, Egan said, and the violent acts committed Monday do not jibe with the man they knew.

''They were a very kind, generous, loving family,'' Egan said.

Raymond Wood has suffered from mental illness. He was committed to Alaska Psychiatric Institute after an incident in 1985 in which he broke into a home, forced motorists off an Anchorage road and got involved in a brawl. He was taken to the hospital after telling police he was God and could make himself invisible.

''I know her husband didn't mean to do what he did,'' Egan said through tears. ''He was ill.''

All thought now is focused on taking care of ''the babies,'' Moriah and Katlin, Egan said. Tina and Raymond Wood had little money, Egan said. The family will be setting up a fund to help pay for the girls' medical expenses and their education, she said.

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