SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4-Utah) – There was no time for the parents of Dee Dee (Prince) Wach to grieve.
Life after her murder involved an eight-year-long custody battle for Dee Dee’s daughter, Heather. It was between her parents and her ex-husband, Paul Wach.
“He really didn’t want the child, he only wanted to control everyone,” said Dorothy Prince, Dee Dee’s mother.
She lived a full life according to her mother. During her teens, she was on the “wild side,” according to her mothers. But she was changing her ways.
Dee Dee was planning to start a new life with a new boyfriend and made plans to move out of state.
Her marriage to Paul lasted nearly two years. Court records showed she filed two protective orders against him in early 1988. Divorce proceedings began in July, 1988 but were never finalized.
Dee Dee was shot and killed outside her parent’s home in Kearns in December 1988. The murder remains unsolved.
“She was s a good mother getting out of an abusive relationship and it made a big difference in her life,” said her mother.
In a text to ABC4, the boyfriend claimed “Paul told the both of us we would go down two days before she was murdered.”
At the time Paul was suspected of killing her. He was questioned but never arrested.
Dorothy Prince suspected Paul hired someone to kill Dee Dee. A cold case detective with Unified Police said the investigation remains active and no one has been ruled out.
“We had lots of evidence it’s all circumstantial,” Prince said. “Unless he confesses or confesses to somebody or somebody else he hired, concrete evidence, they can’t go any further with it.”
After Dee Dee’s murder, her parents gained temporary custody of Heather. But for eight years, Paul kept the Prince’s in court trying to regain custody.
Eventually, the grandparents were given custody, raised her, and shed her birth last name. She was now Heather Prince.
But in 2018 tragedy struck again.
“Heather committed suicide because she was obsessed with her mother’s murder not being solved and knowing her dad was behind it,” said Prince.
It was another casualty from that night in 1988. Dee Dee left behind two daughters who were again raised by the Prince family.
“We love them and enjoy them,” said Prince. “But it’s difficult and hard to watch knowing they’ve missed out on a lot of other kids do have. They didn’t have a mother; they didn’t have much of a father and then come to realize your father killed your mother.”