Family mourns Warrensville Hts. murder victim

Posted at 12:20 PM, Jan 20, 2016

A man suspected of stabbing and killing a woman in Warrensville Heights Wednesday was arrested in a stolen car in Erie County, Ohio State Highway Patrol said.

Gregory Baxter, 49, was pulled over in a car that was reported stolen on the Ohio Turnpike. He caught a trooper's attention because he was traveling 51 miles per hour in a 70-mile-per-hour zone.

Troopers said that Baxter told the trooper that he stabbed and possibly killed his girlfriend Tracy Bender. He was taken into custody.

According to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner, Tracy Bender, 49, was found dead Wednesday morning.

Her body was found on the ground near the intersection of Shurmer Drive and Brookton Road, less than a block from her home.

Family and friends had gathered hours earlier to mourn the loss of Bender's brother, who had just passed away from Lupus.

Bender leaves behind two children. Her wheelchair-bound son, 19-year-old Lord Reisen Bonton is shaken at the loss of a woman he said played the roles of mom and dad his entire life. 

"The man who did this, he will never know what it’s like to have his parent taken from him over the selfishness of one's own actions," Bonton said.

Nancy Middlebrooks, a close friend, said Bender was a loving, generous soul who would do anything for anyone. 

"I knew she had trouble with him, but I never knew he was domestically violent like that," she said, tears rolling down her face.


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