LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. — Karen McCarthy remembers her daughter, Staci Lynn Coyne, as a happy, vibrant and outgoing young woman with a penchant for kindness toward friends and strangers.
“She’d help anyone out, didn’t matter," McCarthy said. "The littlest thing. If they needed $5, she’d give her $5. She was just a good person."
Her mom said her smile, evident in pictures, showed how Staci lived her life: as a caregiver, helping others along the way.
“I want people to remember her like that, and not the way she died," McCarthy said.
McCarthy said she’ll never forget the day her 37-year-old daughter was murdered in an apparent domestic violence incident. Coyne was found dead in her Lawrenceburg apartment in the early morning hours of Oct. 24, and her boyfriend was shot and killed outside of that apartment after a confrontation with police.
"I just collapsed when my daughter called, frantic, saying, ‘Mom, Staci is dead. He killed her.’ I dropped to the floor,” McCarthy said.
She said her daughter's life was needlessly taken, and now McCarthy lives for helping others while keeping her daughter's memory alive.
"My main goal is to try to help as many people as I can because when you get a phone call about your child… being killed by someone else. It's a horrible, horrible feeling,” McCarthy said.
Psychologist Dr. Stuart Bassman said the time between Thanksgiving and the end of the year can bring an uptick in suicidal thoughts and domestic violence issues. A very difficult year could intensify those issues.
McCarthy wants to share her message in hopes of helping those who may be experiencing domestic violence through the holiday season, and to spare their families from the pain of losing a loved one to domestic violence.
“Not only for people to be aware, more aware of domestic violence,” she said. “It happens all the time -- most of the time, it ends up in somebody being killed.”
Her message: you are never alone, and there are people out there who can help.
If you are experiencing domestic violence and need resources to help, Anna Louise Inn/Housing at 2401 Reading Rd is one of many programs assisting women in the region.
For a list of links, phone numbers and other resources to help, click here.