Dad killed in blast with family tried to take own life last month

Dad killed in blast with family tried to take own life last month
Bob DiBacco stopped Mather from hurting himself. (Source: WOIO)
Bob DiBacco stopped Mather from hurting himself. (Source: WOIO)
House where family of four was killed in explosion. (Source: WOIO)
House where family of four was killed in explosion. (Source: WOIO)

NORTHFIELD VILLAGE, OH (WOIO) - There are more questions than answers in this week's deadly house explosion in Summit County. A family of four was found dead after their home exploded on Skyhaven Road in Northfield Center Township Monday night.

Last month,  Jeffrey Mather was threatening to end his own life last month.

But he didn't go through with it after a man called 911 and may have saved his life.

According to a report, filed by Metroparks Police, rangers were called Dec. 2 after someone saw Mather in the Lagoon Picnic area with a gun.

Bob DiBacco, who called 911, has been trying to make sense of it all.
"I have been tormented by all of this actually because I felt like I was there and did the right thing and it turned into this situation," DiBacco said.

When police arrived, Mather was crying, told officers he was suffering from depression and that he wanted to end it all. Mather also told police there was a loaded shotgun behind the log he was sitting on.

"I pulled into the parking lot and I saw this man, he waved me down with his hands. He looked like he was upset about something," DiBacco said. "I said, 'can I help you?' he said, 'I came down here with the intent to kill myself. I bought a gun and I was going to kill myself. I need help,'" DiBacco said.

After talking with police, Mather was eventually taken to Southwest General Health Center for  treatment.

The report comes on the heels of the Summit County Medical Examiner's statement that murder-suicide is one of the options being Monday's deadly explosion that killed Mather, his wife Cindy Mather and their two daughters, 12-year-old Allison and 8-year-old Ruthie.

Mom was found huddled with her children and the dad was found near the garage.
Further investigating revealed Jeff Mather struggled with mental health issues.

DiBacco later sent a card to Mather.
He last heard from him about two weeks ago.
"He actually called me on New Year's Eve. I didn't pick up the phone but he left me a message stating that he was doing fine and he thanked me again for stopping and helping him, and he wished me a Happy New Year," he said.

 DiBacco felt like he made a difference, but now he's not so sure.
"It actually brought me to tears. Because it was so nice to know-- I thought I'd done some good you know," he said.
DiBacco said he spoke with Mather's parents after he met him and they said he was struggling with some things at work and depression.

He said he's praying for both sides of the family.
Mather worked at Swagelok in Solon. The company issued this statement:
"This is a tragic situation and we extend our deepest sympathies to the friends and family. We are deeply saddened by this event. Our focus is to support our associates through this difficult time."

The cause of the fire has been ruled arson.

A vigil has been planned for Friday night outside the Mather's home where the tragedy took place. The memorial begins at 8:30 p.m.

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