ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) – Ken Hoover said it was other adults bullying his wife that lead her to commit suicide.
WFLA’s sister station WTAJ in Pennsylvania is not including any names of the businesses or people involved because there have been no charges. And that’s the way Ken Hoover wants it, but he does want people to know how dangerous bullying can be and what he believes it did to his wife.
Ken and Rebecca “Becky” Hoover were married for 22 years.
“She never met a person she didn’t like, I can tell you that. We had four boys, she was extremely proud of them. The only thing she wanted to do was make enough money to pay the bills at the store, and she thought she’d have a good time doing it, so she went ahead and did it,” Ken said.
But when Becky Hoover opened Trendz by Poppy in Altoona, her husband said things started to change.
“Soon after the store opened, some strange things started happening. Somebody actually confronted my wife, telling her to back off, which she had no clue what it meant, but it scared her…it scared her to death,” he said.
So Becky took legal action against the local business owner.
“She got an attorney and had a cease and desist letter delivered to the business. It actually made the problem worse for a time because they posted this and made it seems as though my wife was suing them for some reason. Soon after that, there was some social media posts on this woman’s private Facebook page talking about haters,” Ken said.
Other businesses in Altoona say they’ve been treated the same way by the same people.
“They think harassment is someone showing up at your door and running after you and things like that. It’s also the two years of the bad mouthing, the memes and the social media posts that are being shared,” Catherine McCabe, co-owner of Greenbean Coffee House, said.
“God bless Becky. We all have so much we can handle but I can only imagine being poked constantly every day,” Travis McCabe, co-owner of Greenbean Coffee House, added.
Ken said that poking took a toll on his wife.
“She got to the point where she didn’t want to go anywhere anymore unless we actually left the area. She didn’t want to go around the area anymore because she was afraid that she was gonna be confronted by somebody,” he said.
Ken said his wife felt alone, thinking nothing would ever get better.
“I wish she would’ve realized the support and care, I wish she would’ve realized it while she was still here,” he said.
Becky ended her own life on July 16.
“And she left a note. Now I didn’t know what I was gonna see in the note. The only specific thing she mentioned in the note was about the harassment she received, nothing about any medical issues she was dealing with, nothing about the financial problem that we had. It was the bullying and the harassment that she had put up with,” Ken said.
Travis and Katy McCabe said they not only dealt with posts on social media but were targeted by private messages, attacking their personal lives.
“Sending private messages to my friends to try to turn them against me, sending privates message to my husband to try to come between my marriage and cause problems in my marriage. These are things that I have. I have this documentation. These are things that have happened,” Katy said.
Their key wish is to stop the bullying, once and for all.
“I’m not fighting against anyone. I’m just trying to bring awareness to a problem in this area. We just want it to stop,” Katy said.
One resident who Ken Hoover identified as one of the people harassing his wife contacted WTAJ on Thursday. We gave them the option of going on camera or providing an attorney to do so and they refused.
WTAJ reached out to the district attorney’s office to ask of their involvement but they did not respond.