TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - After a violent murder, a family hopes to help others. Patrice Rivers was murdered last week, and her boyfriend is charged with her death. Tonight, her family has a message for anyone stuck in an abusive relationship.
"You took something so beautiful from us. From me. From my kids. Her grandbabies," says Monique Rivers.
River's mother, Patrice Rivers, died last Saturday. According to court documents, her live-in boyfriend, Kevin Thomas, told police he hit her in the face and head until she was unconscious.
"Domestic violence is a serious thing. And I always used to tell her mom, leave," says Monique.
On Saturday night, family and friends held a candlelight vigil and Rivers' home on Batavia Street. Dozens of people showed up sharing memories.
"When she come in the room, brightens up the room. Life of the party. Grandkids love her. My kids love her to death," says Patrice's niece, Kaylon Hughes.
Family members say Patrice and Thomas were together for 13 years, and domestic violence was always an issue. Tonight, the family is hoping others can learn from their loss.
"Leave. That's all I can say. If you can't leave, get help, try to get help. This is not the way you want to go out," says Hughes.
If you are in an abusive relationship and need help, the YWCA has resources for those dealing with domestic violence. You can visit their website here.