Philadelphia Father Kills Daughter, Then Self

Chris Jasurek
By Chris Jasurek
August 7, 2018US News
Philadelphia Father Kills Daughter, Then Self
Kayden Mancuso, (2R) with her mother, stepfather and brothers. Kayden was killed by her biological father. (GoFundMe)

NTD Photo

A seven-year-old Pennsylvania girl was killed at the hands of her father, who then committed suicide in his Philadelphia home.

Philadelphia police told that the bodies of Jeff Mancuso and his daughter Kayden were found in Mancuso’s home in the 4500 block of Wilde Street, in the Manayunk neighborhood. Mancuso had had his daughter for a weekend visitation and was supposed to bring her back home to her mother by Sunday night.   

When Mancuso didn’t bring Kayden back, Kayden’s mother called the police, but was told there was nothing they could do without a warrant.

Kayden’s mother sent out search alerts on social media, hoping someone had seen her daughter.

Meanwhile, Kayden’s stepfather and grandfather went to Mancuso’s home, where they discover the two bodies around 10:55 a.m. on Aug. 6.

Kayden was in the first floor living room. She had a bag over her head. Mancuso, 41, was dead in an upstairs bedroom.

Jeffery Mancuso with Kayden at DisneyWorld in December, 2017 (Jeffery Mancuso/Facbook)
Jeffery Mancuso with Kayden at Disneyworld in December 2017. (Jeffery Mancuso/Facbook)

‘We knew this was gonna happen …’

Kayden had been the focus of an intense custody battle between her mother, Kathryn Jean, and her biological father, Jeff Mancuso.

According to Kayden’s family, Mancuso had a history of violent tendencies. Kayden’s mother had taken out a restraining order against her ex-husband. She fought for years to gain sole custody because she didn’t trust her ex-husband to keep her daughter safe.

“We knew this was gonna happen one day, we just prayed it wouldn’t,” Kayden’s aunt, Heather Giglio, told Action News.

“As far as red flags go, you wouldn’t find a guy with more red flags,” another aunt, Kerrin Paul, told CBS Philly.  

Mancuso was ordered by a judge to undergo a mental health evaluation as part of the custody negotiations. The result was that Mancuso was deemed to have a severe depressive disorder.

“The therapist suggested he needed to seek help and the judge still let her go with him,” Giglio told CBS Philly.

“He threatened to kill all of us. But that wasn’t enough—we had to wait for actions. We had to wait for him to actually kill her, for something to be heard and now what, what can we do? We don’t get her back.”

Mancuso also had a long history of violent behavior, including biting off the ear of a person in a bar, and knocking down his wife while she was pregnant, according to Kayden’s godfather, Matthew Moffett.

“I just wished that the police, the courts, that everybody would have done something to change this before it got to this point,” Moffett said.

“The system failed us. My sister fought for her custody for years and they didn’t listen to us. They let him take her and now she’s gone,” Giglio told Action News.

Kayden had just earned a spot on the girls’ under-10 Pennsbury Athletic Association baseball team. (CBS screenshot)
Kayden had just earned a spot on the girls’ under-10 Pennsbury Athletic Association baseball team. (CBS screenshot)

Energetic, Athletic Little Girl

Kayden was even more active than most typical 7-year-old girls. Not surprisingly, she loved to dance.

She had just earned a spot on the 10-and-under baseball team for girls with the Pennsbury Athletic Association.

According to a GoFundMe site set up by friends of the family, Kayden excelled in soccer, gymnastics, and basketball as well.

“She had so much spark to her, she was our princess and our angel,” Giglio told Action News. “There’s nothing we can do to bring her back.”

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