His daughter slain in Cameron Park, Grandfather now cares for her three young children
By Cynthia Hubert, Mar. 17, 2012
He could do this, Don Hatfield insisted, rubbing his weary eyes as he stood in the cluttered kitchen of his hastily acquired new rental home.
He could get out of bed three times in the night to feed a bottle to baby Alex. He could change diapers, and clean up spills, and pick up toys, and cook oatmeal, and read bedtime stories to Eva and Ariel. He was more than capable of protecting two confused little girls and a baby boy who suddenly are without their parents after their mother was killed and their father arrested.
He had no choice.
"God has kept me fit and strong, and this is my new life," said Hatfield, 64, shrugging as he collapsed onto a sofa next to two small wooden Dora the Explorer chairs. "This is what I must do."
A year ago, Hatfield, a noted Northern California artist whose impressionist paintings hang in collections around the world, was dreaming of a retirement filled with golf dates and world travels with his beloved wife, Janey.
But the couple got underwater on their mortgage and lost their rustic 4,000-square-foot Napa home to foreclosure, forcing them to move into a small condominium in Yountville. A few months later, Janey was diagnosed with cancer. She died in January.
Hatfield was in the full throes of grief, and still calculating medical bills for Janey's treatment, when he learned that his only daughter, Rachel, had been stabbed to death, allegedly by her husband, Todd Winkler. Authorities said ...