Chris and Michele King, a Massachusetts couple, died unexpectedly last week, leaving their young children orphans just days after Christmas, according to local reports.
6-year-old Josephine (nicknamed “JoJo”) and 1-year-old Miles now face the prospect of a life without their biological parents.
In response, their community has rallied to raise money for the King kids. On a GoFundMe page set up on Friday, loved ones and well-wishers from Massachusetts and beyond raised tens of thousands of dollars for JoJo and Miles — doubling the original fundraising goal and closing in on six figures.
According to their surviving family members, the money will be placed in a trust on the children’s behalf.
Chris and Michele King Die Suddenly
Local news outlets reported that Chris and Michele King, whose ages are not known, passed away suddenly the week of Dec. 27.
The couple, who lived with their two children in the Cape Cod town of Bourne, died as a result of unspecified “medical conditions,” according to reports. Their loved ones have confirmed the Kings’ passing on Facebook, but have not named the “conditions” at play. It’s not clear if Chris and Michele were ill in the weeks before their deaths, or if they passed away at the same time.
Authorities have said the deaths were not suspicious and are not under investigation. Bourne Police Lieutenant Brandon M Esip told The Enterprise that the Kings were not victims of a crime, but called the case “a tragic set of circumstances.” He did not offer more details.
The local medical examiner was reportedly on the scene at the King family home last week, though it’s not clear if an autopsy has been performed yet. Officials are not expected to reveal a cause of death, as there does not seem to be a threat to public safety, and autopsy reports are not a matter of public record in the Commonwealth.
Community Rallies for Orphans
Orphaned just days after celebrating Christmas, 6-year-old JoJo and 1-year-old infant Miles were embraced by their small-town community.
When Chris’ sister Nicole King organized a crowdfunding drive on GoFundMe, Bourne residents heeded the call — donating almost tens of thousands of dollars in just a few days.
“This is such a tragic and irreparable loss for these two little ones to lose both mom and dad suddenly and at such a young age,” Nicole wrote. “Their road will be long and rocky, but they are surrounded by so many family members who love them.”
The page, set up on Friday, had a fundraising goal of $50,000, which was quickly surpassed over the weekend. By Monday, the King kids were slated to receive more than $97,000, with that figure likely to grow as their story gains national media attention.
According to Nicole, the money will be placed in a financial trust for JoJo and Miles’ benefit.
“Because they are minor children, we intend to set up an ITF account in trust for JoJo and Miles to hold the funds for their future needs, including care and educational needs, and future financial planning for their long-term wellbeing,” she wrote on GoFundMe.
Loved Ones Grieve King Couple
The couple was reportedly well-known in their Cape Cod community. Chris was an engineer and Michele was a math teacher, according to local outlets.
Nicole King wrote a touching tribute to her late brother and sister-in-law on GoFundMe on Friday.
“For those who knew Chris and Michele, you know their love for one another was immeasurable,” she said. “And their love for their children, infinite.”