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Murdered nurse predicts death in text message

Posted at 7:43 AM, Dec 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-15 07:43:22-05

A Stark County nurse who was gunned down walking to her car from the nursing home she worked at suffered from a history of domestic violence dating back at least a decade, friends and family said Monday.

Police said 37-year-old Zeljka Sekulic was shot by her ex-husband Dragan Sekulic as she was leaving her job at Astoria Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation in Canton last Wednesday. 

Dragan Sekulic, who police say has a history of violence, fled the scene but was located a short time later on Interstate 77 in the Cambridge area. 

Zeljka died from her injuries.

But that wasn't Dragan's first run-in with police. Three weeks ago police said Dragan rammed Zeljka's car on a road in Stark County, causing it to flip over and trap her inside. She had to be rescued by firefighters. 

At that time, Dragan was charged with felonious assault and domestic violence but posted the $100,000 bond and was issued a no-contact order.

Courtney Warner said she met Zeljka 10 years ago at a battered woman's shelter. The two forged a bond and remained close ever since. She said Zeljka had recently bought a gun for protection, but for some reason, did not have it with her on the day of her murder.

And just days before her death, Zeljka sent Courtney a chilling text message that reads, "That a**hole try to kill me."

"She had the heart of an angel," Warner said. "There was no one like Zeljka."

Already, more than $16,000 has been raised through a GoFundMe account for funeral expenses and to help the couple's two young daughters, who are now in the care of family members.

RELATED | Stark County judge defends his bond decision for alleged Canton nursing home killer

Dragan's next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 16. He is charged with aggravated murder and his bond is now set at $5 million.

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