KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- After a KC man was charged Thursday in his wife's murder, one of the woman's friends says she always feared something terrible would happen to her.
Heather Mosbacher remembers her friend Tabitha Birdsong as a “sweet, soft spoken soul” who loved to write poetry and had a huge heart. The pair became best friends 13 years ago.
”Tabby was always excited and willing to help anybody that she could. She was so, so sweet,” Mosbacher said during a phone interview Thursday night.
The past few days have been absolutely devastating for Mosbacher. She can't believe she’s suddenly mourning the friend she last saw just last week.
”It’s unbelievable. It’s not even something I’ve been able to fully grasp yet. I know she’s gone, but it’s just so hard to believe that I’m not going to see her again,” Mosbacher said.
On Tuesday, a group of walkers called 911 after finding Tabitha’s body in the grass near Roanoke Park in Kansas City.
Gene Birdsong is now charged with stabbing to death his wife of nine years. Tabitha was also the mother of Birdsong’s two children. She had a total of five kids.
According to court documents, detectives found a protection order against her husband in Tabitha’s back pocket when she was found dead.
”I wasn’t the only one, but we were all very fearful of her life because of him. She really struggled because of the domestic abuse situation she was in, so I had to be there for her a lot,” Mosbacher said.
Court records say witnesses told police that Tabitha and Gene were seen together just hours before her death. One friend said Tuesday morning the suspect showed up at his house with “blood on his khaki pants and his right hand wrapped in a piece of cloth."
That protection order against Gene wasn't the first.
In June 2017, Gene pleaded guilty to violating a protection order Tabitha filed and was given probation with an underlying sentence of 120 days in jail. He violated the terms of probation and ultimately served all 120 days of his original sentence. He was released on June 27, 2018.
KCK police arrested Gene Birdsong early Tuesday on a city warrant. The next day he told detectives the injuries on his right hand were due “self-defense.”
As for the order of protection police found in Tabitha Birdsong’s pocket?
”What it tells me is that this woman knew that there was something that was, that needed to be done,” said Marianne Hamer, who works with the advocacy program at Rose Brooks Center in Kansas City.
For nearly 40 years, the center has provided services to victims of domestic violence, and it’s also been a safe place for women trapped in abusive relationships.
”If you are aware that you’re wanting to leave or a friend of yours is needing to leave an abusive relationship, contact an advocate. Contact a domestic violence agency to get a greater understanding of how to best safety plan that departure,” Hamer said.
In the meantime, Gene Birdsong remains in jail on a $300,000 cash-only bond.