Father of West Goshen murder victim speaks

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

From the time he was a child, Kevin Mengel, Jr. loved to dirt-bike, his father Kevin Sr. told Action News, but nothing compared to how much he adored his three children, ages 12, 10, and 6.

"He was so proud, so thrilled to be a dad," Kevin Sr. said.

So proud, he named his landscaping company MKB Property Maintenance after his kids, choosing the first letter of each of their names Mercedes, Kevin and Billy.

But now the kids will grow up without a father, who police say was killed at the hands of his wife Morgan and her 21-year-old lover Stephen Shappell, an employee at Mengel's landscaping business.

Kevin Sr. describes the relationship between his son and daughter-in-law as rocky, explaining she had left him many times, but he always welcomed her back, wanting to keep the family together.

Why she didn't just leave him for good if she was unhappy, Kevin doesn't understand.

"She took him away from us. I don't know why, I don't know why," Kevin Sr. said.

According to police, Morgan Mengel confessed to having an affair with Shappell and together they plotted to kill Kevin Jr.

Morgan told police that the two tried poisoning Kevin and then Stephen hit him in the head with a shovel. Then, she admitted, they buried his body in a deep grave behind Marple Newtown High School.

Morgan was taken into custody on Saturday. Shappell was found in Colorado Sunday night.

Kevin Sr. said he met Shappell around a month ago. The 21-year-old was doing work at the house, but gave no inclination he was anything other than an employee at his son's landscaping company and that his alleged actions soon after would change the course of all their lives.

With both Shappell and Morgan Mengel in custody, his family is trying to make sure that Kevin Jr., the father, the son, and the brother, isn't lost among the details of the crime.

"The bigger tragedy is the loss of a wonderful young man who was just trying to make a life for his family. The tragedy that his three children will live the rest of their lives with no father, no mother, and knowing why," Kevin Sr. said.

The children are staying with their grandmother, while long-term plans are being made. Meanwhile, the family has created a trust-fund for the children.

Donations can be made to:
Kevin Mengel Jr. Children's Trust Fund
c/o Penn Liberty Bank
210 Font Road
Downingtown, Pa. 19335

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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