melissa cowan

In April, 2014, Melissa Cowan (27) and her husband Carrington Joesph (27) appeared on a National Syndicated Talk Show “The Trisha Show” in an attempt for Melissa to save her marriage.  She wanted to prove to her husband that she had been faithful to him.  He had also questioned the paternity of their 4-month old twin babies that were proven to be his babies from the lie detector test Melissa took on the show.  Two weeks later, on May 2, 2014, Melissa and Carrington engaged in a heated argument and Melissa attempted to leave the home.  Melissa’s 18 year old sister was in the home with them and attempted to call the police for help when Carrington threatened her.  She managed to escape the home and ran out screaming hysterically for help.  As Melissa’s twins set in their car seats ready to leave with their mother, Carrington went to the kitchen and grabbed several knives from the drawers.  He first stabbed Melissa in the back as she tried to exit the home.  Melissa fell out of the door and her sister and a neighbor attempted to pull her away from him.  Carrington put a knife to her head.  He pulled Melissa back into the house by her hair and continued to stab her 82 times breaking several knives in her before she took her last breath in front of her 4 month old twins.

The police arrived minutes after the call was dispatched, Carrington still had a knife in his hands and blood from Melissa had splashed everywhere including over the twins.  There was so much blood splattered over the twins from their mother that they could not identify the boy from the girl.  Upon his arrest, he showed no remorse.  In addition to the twins, this heinous murder left 5 children motherless.

Carrington was charged with murder and was facing the death penalty.  However, Melissa’s family agreed to have him tried in front of a Judge instead so they would not have to endure the years of repeat trauma going in and out of court a death penalty involves.

On November 2, 2015 Carrington Joseph stood before the Court to face his charges.  His only defense was that” he had to get his wife before she got him”.  After a painful 2 and ½ days of trail, Judge Dennis Reinaker commented that, “this was a killing that was willful, deliberate and premeditated.”  Based on the evidence in the case, any suggestion that the defendant acted in self defense is completely absurd.”Carrington Joseph was found guilty of first degree murder and he was sentenced to serve Life Without Parole.

Since that time Melissa’s mother Kelly Cowan said the City of Lancaster had supported them in such a way that they wanted to do something to give back.  Kelly feels that surviving children become the “forgotten victims.”  She has set up a Foundation called “Purple Wishes” to grant wishes to children left behind from domestic abuse murders.  I am honored to say that Kelly asked me to serve as a Board Member in this important Foundation.  Last year, “The Melissa Walk” was held in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to honor Melissa’s memory.   On April 30, 2016 the Second Annual Melissa Walk will take place in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Purple Wishes is still somewhat in it’s infancy but we are moving forward to make this a National Organization.  We would greatly appreciate donations to help our Foundation grant wishes to the “forgotten children”.  They have lost so much and sometimes a fulfillment of a dream can mean so much.

You may send donations to or contact Purple Wishes at:

Purple Wishes

The Melissa Cowan Foundation

P.O. Box 4852

Lancaster Pennsylvania, 17604

866-507-9995 EXT. 226





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melissa children


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  1. What a tragedy. Children are left with no parents in these situations because one is dead and the other hopefully in jail for life. “Purple Wishes” is worth supporting because children are truly the forgotten victims. #stoptheviolencenow


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