Philip Lockhart Sr., 59, yesterday recalled warning his wife, Cleo Lockhart, 40, that he had a terrible feeling about her leaving the house on Friday evening.
On Saturday morning, police found her lifeless body near her home on a dirt road in Nassau Village.
“I told her not to go, but she told me that God has her back,” said Lockhart as tears filled his eyes and his voice quivered.
“I told her, ‘Sometimes God puts you on your back to teach you a lesson.’
“I hate that I said that because I found her [lying] on her back dead with wounds to her head. My wife of 18 years is dead.”
He said when he got the news, he couldn’t believe it.
“At first, I thought my neighbor was joking,” he said.
“I thought they [were] joking to the point that I brought my son with me, which I shouldn’t have done because I didn’t know what to expect.
“I saw her there lying in the bushes like a dead dog. That’s the part that hurts the most.”
Lockhart hunched over, and covered his eyes as he sobbed.
He said he met his wife on Solider Road, where he grew up.
At the time she had one son, who he quickly took in as his own, he said.
The couple had six children together, the youngest of which is a one-year-old girl.
They also just celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary last month.
He described his wife as a loving, strong-willed woman with an infectious smile.
“I’m going to miss her smile the most,” Lockhart said.
“Whenever I saw that, I knew that everything was going to be alright.”
He added that the children are crushed by their mother’s death, but they’re determined to get through this rough time.
“What I’m happy about is that my sons told me, ‘Don’t worry about [anything], daddy. We will see this through,’” he said as he regained his composure.
“We will. We will see this through.”
Police reported that shortly after 8 a.m. on Saturday morning, they responded to Lewis Street, Nassau Village, after receiving reports of a woman being shot.
They later discovered the woman with injuries to her body.
Paramedics were called to the scene, but were unsuccessful in reviving her.
Police had no one in custody in connection to the murder.