RENO, Nevada (KOLOTV.com) -- Mitch Delariva says he was making dinner last week when a television news story about a double murder included a name from his past.
Delariva met Justin Ouimet when he was working at a Tahoe group home for at-risk boys. Ouimet, who was then 13, had been ordered by a Mono County California judge to the home. He was on probation for brining a gun to his school in Mammoth Lakes.
Delariva says Ouimet was younger than most of the other boys at the home, less criminally oriented than some. He was relatively quiet and had difficulty connecting with other people, a product possibly of an upbringing that was unconventional, if not abusive.
Ouimet lived with his father who raised sled racing dogs.
"The way he explained it to me he didn't even live in the house with his dad. He lived out with the dogs. I can't imagine how that might have affected him."
His father relinquished his parental rights when he entered the correctional system.
The crimes Ouimet has confessed to are chilling. He told police he went to his estranged wife's home last Friday to kill anyone who was there. In succession he says he stabbed and killed his mother in law, 62 year old Lana Stone, then his two year old step son, Connor Lawrence, then went to his father in law's home with the intent to kill him. Roger Lawrence was not at home.
Delariva says Ouimet ran away from the home after six months and he had no idea what happened to him until last Friday. California court records show a car theft conviction in 2006. He was paroled the next year and in 2008 he was in the Washoe County Jail on domestic batter charges.
Early intervention, he says, might have made a difference in Ouimet's life, but as difficult as his upbringing it doesn't explain his apparent actions years later.
"What he's done is so horrific that it's pretty much hard to draw a connection to any one thing in his past to make a person go that far south, but he didn't have a good upbringing. He's one of those kids that did slip through the cracks. He seemed like he had potential to be a muich better person."