FT. MITCHELL — When Carli Mockbee opened the door to her room last Sunday, she only saw a little smoke and fire. The sight was deceptive, because most of the flames from the candle that started it all were already in the walls and spreading through the house.
"When I came in, I thought I saw fire here and over on my bed," she said. "My dad got it with the fire extinguisher but it was already in the walls at that point."
Carli is the oldest daughter of Michelle Mockbee, who was killed by a coworker in 2012.
Carli, her sister Madii, and her dad Dan moved in with family in Ft. Mitchell after the murder.
One week later, she's still sifting through the ashes, pulling out things she can salvage. Some of the items she's trying to save hold precious memories, like photos of a younger Carli and her mom.
Some feel irreplaceable, like the pink sapphire ring she inherited from her mom. It matches rings belonging to her aunts and grandma.
The case against David Dooley, who has twice been convicted of Michelle's murder, has dragged on. He was first convicted in 2014, but a judge overturned that decision about two years ago after defense attorneys said they had never been given a piece of video evidence.
In April 2019, he was sentenced to 43 years in prison after a second jury convicted him of attacking Michelle inside the Thermo Fischer Scientific office in Boone County, reportedly over time card discrepancies.
The cost of damage from the fire is still unclear. Estimates are pending, but the damage is extensive.
"We have to replace pretty much all of the floors in the house because the water went through to the basement," Carli said.
There is a GoFundMe page that has been set up to help the Whalen and Mockbee family with the long hotel stay and basic needs. Family members said they intend to move back into the house eventually.