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Murder victim's family fights domestic violence

Posted at 4:52 PM, Jan 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-23 18:19:39-05

Dozens gathered in the bitter cold Saturday afternoon at the spot where a Warrensville Heights woman was found brutally murdered last week.

Early Wednesday morning, Tracey Bender, 49, was stabbed to death and left on the corner of Shurmer and Brookton Rd., less than a block from her home.

Ohio State Troopers caught and arrested her boyfriend, 49-year-old Gregory Baxter of Warrensville Heights miles away in Erie County in a stolen car driving 20 miles below the speed limit. When he was pulled over, troopers said Baxter told them he had "stabbed and possibly killed" his girlfriend.

A mother of two, Tracey's family said they're now trying to cope with a tragedy they never saw coming -- domestic violence turned deadly.

They hope calling attention to her murder will encourage others in similar situations to fight back against abuse. It was also for friends and family, telling them that if you see someting wrong in a relationship, say something.

"We didn't expect this," said Ray Freeman, a close family friend. "The domestic violence and the domestic violence of it. We just want to make people aware."

Baxter has been brought back to Warrensville Heights and was arraigned on a murder charge this week. He is being held on a $1.5 million bond.