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Mother of 10-year-old Harvest murder-suicide victim speaks out

Mother of slain Tate Buening, Kayla Tate White, speaks publicly about the killing of her 10-year-old son. Her ex-husband, his father killed him and then himself.

MADISON COUNTY, ALABAMA, Ala. — 10-year-old Tate Buening was murdered by his father, Brian Buening, last month; his father then killed himself. The Madison County Sheriff's Office said that the scene was the worst thing they've ever seen.

Tate's mother, Kayla Tate White, said that Tate's dad was starting to become a threat to them both.

"My ex-husband had a lot of issues, but he had a lot of stable moments, and at the point- I think a lot was going on behind the scenes that we didn't know, but at the point where we realized that Tate was no longer safe or that I was no longer safe," said White.

Before the murder-suicide, she said he threatened her life but that she had no idea that this threat would escalate into this horrible crime.

"I've had my life threatened, not Tate's, but to me, a threat, especially now and hearing from other parents, that a threat to the parent is a threat to a child," said White.

The ex-spouses were in the midst of a custody battle but that's not what made white file an emergency hearing, she filed because she was scared for her life.

RELATED: Prayer vigil honoring 10-year-old Tate Buening will be held night before funeral service

"Because if someone wants to harm you bad enough, they're gonna find a way. Apparently, even if it's through their own child," said White.

She also didn't expect that she would have to wait a month for the hearing.

"With an emergency hearing, if we filed it on Friday, we'd be listened to by Monday or Tuesday," said White.

Having to wait this long was an issue because she said she knew if Tate's father found out, he would be furious. The hearing was kept secret but somehow he found out.

White said in a Facebook post that "Whoever told him, or however he found out has just as much of my babies blood on their hands as Brian does." 

During all of this, White asked for a welfare check but she says she was failed mainly because she, not the responding officer, had to walk in and find her only child brutally murdered by his father.

"I feared for my child's safety and that his dad is not mentally stable and being told that I can't get involved. You can walk to the door yourself, is a huge failure and something I'll never get over that I don't think is okay. And I feel like no one's being held accountable for anything," said White.

Moving forward, White plans to sue her ex-husband's estate and push for change within the justice system, especially here in Madison County.

RELATED: GoFundMe account created for family of murder victim Tate Buening