Finding comfort in faith: Sioux Falls woman mourns son who tried to kill her

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A Sioux Falls woman is mourning the loss of her son who died in jail nine days after he attacked her.

Jesse Odle died Wednesday morning inside the Minnehaha County Jail after what appears to be the result of a medical situation. Authorities await the results of an autopsy. He was scheduled in court on charges including attempted murder.

Kay Odle opened up to KSFY's Courtney Collen about what happened, how she's doing and how she's moving forward.

"I think I'm doing amazingly, wonderfully well. You're going to think this is weird but I feel blessed, I feel thankful."

Her world turned upside down, again, after losing her husband on Thanksgiving. New Year's Day, her son knocked on her door.

"He wanted in, got in. He looked sad, defeated, broken, wounded. He was crying about his father's death and said 'I haven't even begun to mourn dad's death'. He was so sad," she said. "I held him in my arms and he cried, and shook."

They had a conversation in her kitchen about moving forward and faith. But his demeanor quickly changed.

"He said 'demons, demons' and rubbed his hands together, 'demons are real'. I said why are we talking about demons? He came around the counter and started hitting me," she explained. "Knocked me down again, pulled me back up, knocked me down... beat me, beat me, beat me. I got up off the floor, got a hold of the China cabinet. Got to the phone and the bedroom and called 9-1-1. I got just that far, he dragged me by the hair, he got me back down, choked me and said 'I'm going to kill you'... I just thought 'oh no', this is how I'm going to die. I looked in his face and saw pure evil, I didn't see Jesse. I saw pure evil that wanted me dead."

When she could get away, she locked herself in a nearby room. But he broke down the door.

"I thought 'oh no, oh no'..."

It was a near-death exchange that lasted an hour.

"I cried out loud to God to save me. Two times. 'Jesus, help'. I said 'Jesse, I'm your mother, don't do this'," she said.

Police arrived at her home in east Sioux Falls and took Jesse to jail where he died on July 9th. He admitted he was high on drugs.

"It's like a weight is lifted that I've carried for 30 years. There's been that concern of 'where is Jesse?', 'how is Jesse?', 'is he using?'. 'Is he going to show up using?', 'is he going to show up at my house with someone that is dangerous?' He's been in and out of prison for most of his life," she said. "I thought when Larry died, 'Oh Lord, how am I going to go on without my love and partner?' But I'm glad he's there for Jesse. Jesse needs him more than I do right now," Kay said.

Kay is encouraging other families to bring any struggle with drug use to light.

"I just opened the door a crack. What I led in. People open the door just a crack, to try a little marijuana, or this. Don't open that door a crack because you'll never know what it is or when it'll grab you by the throat and try to kill you," she said.

She's recovering from a number of broken bones, tissue damage and bruising all over her body.

"The physical, to me, that's minor. My soul, my spirits are high. I'm so thankful to God that he spared my life."

She's forever thankful for her life, faith and family to help her cope.

"Something like this could make you think 'oh, evil in the world'. But there's so much good. So much good."

Close friends of the Odle family set up a GoFundMe page to help her with medical expenses. Find a link to that page in the 'related links' section of this story.