Sister of police chase suspect talks brother's troubles


by Whitney Harding

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 11:55 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Tuesday morning Tess Rey woke up to police sirens and cars screaming down the Greenbelt just outside her home on Terry Road.

“I thought nothing of it, you know?” she said. “This is Shively. This is PRP. This is Louisville – everything always happens.”

What she didn’t know is that was part of the 58-minute car chase her brother, Travis Mettling, was leading. The chase began in Jeffersontown and ended on Dixie Highway with cars smashing into Mettling’s silver Honda and he being put on a stretcher in handcuffs.

“It just kills me seeing that video played over and over!” Tess said with the news on in the background of her living room. “It just hurts.”

Tess sat in the living room of her home with her other brother Todd and they both shared that something just hadn’t been right with Travis lately.

“It just seems like lately, he hasn’t been himself,” said Todd Mettling. When asked how so, he said, “Just, a lot going on as far as our mom and stuff.”

Tess agreed. “I think what triggered it is, you know, my mom.”

Over the last nine months the Mettling children have been struggling with the sudden death of their mother. While growing up they were very close to her, in the months before her death they had lost touch and that made losing her much harder.

“I knew in my heart that this was just going to spiral,” said Tess with regards to Travis’s attempts to cope. “This was just going to be so bad. Having the burden of not speaking to my mom before she passed had to have killed my brothers.”

Tess said that Travis has since been using drugs and alcohol to try to numb the pain.

“[He] was her ‘golden child’ is what we called him,” she said with a smile.  “Travis was always close to mom.

“Towards the end and up until right now, that is not Travis,” she added. “I know, come two days where he’s sober, that’s going to be Travis and he’s going to think to himself, ‘Oh my God why did I do this?’”

While Tess and her immediate family are definitely shaken by today’s events, there is another young person that Tess worries will be dealing with this for many years: Travis’s 7-year-old daughter.

“I hate this for Travis's daughter,” Tess said with tears in her eyes. “She didn't ask for this. This is just, it hurts my heart.”

Still, no matter how hard it is on her, Tess will not make excuses for her brother’s actions. She hopes that while he’s incarcerated he can learn from his mistakes and with any luck gets the help he needs to conquer his addiction.

“I just think it escalated because of drugs and I just, I hate that,” she said. “I hate to say that he's always relied on a substance you know ‘cause that's just not what you want to say about your brother; but, we all hope that Travis does get the help that he deserves.”

No matter what happens, Tess emphasizes that she still loves her older brother and wants others to know that when it comes down to it, he is still a human being.

“That’s still someone’s brother. That’s still someone’s child. That’s still someone’s, I mean that’s family,” she said. “All we have is really each other. All I feel like I have is my brothers.

“That’s not Travis Mettling, you know? That’s like, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”