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Missing woman found dead in domestic violence case

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The bodies of Loni "Amber" Turner and Erin Ross were found in a Port Orange motel.

By Stephanie Coueignoux, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, August 30, 2010 10:42 PM

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Harbor House 24-hour hotline  (800) 500-1119 or (407) 886-2244

PORT ORANGE —

Friends and family are mourning the death of a 22-year-old South Daytona woman.

Police said it appears Loni "Amber" Turner’s ex-boyfriend shot and killed her before turning the gun on himself.

Turner’s friends said even after she told him to stay away, he would call her, text her mean messages, and even show up unannounced at her apartment.  It’s behavior domestic abuse experts said is the first sign of trouble.

"You can never be hit and have it go straight from emotional abuse and economic abuse — the power and control — to a homicide without there ever being a fist raised in anger," said Carol Wick from Harbor House.

As the CEO of Harbor House, a safe haven for domestic abuse victims, Wick has heard hundreds of stories. Many of them are from women who didn’t realize the danger they were in.

"If you feel like you’re not safe with that person, you need to listen to that voice. The number one thing victims tell us is ‘I never thought he would go this far,’" Wick said.

On Monday, the bodies of Turner and her ex-boyfriend, Erin Ross, were found inside a Port Orange motel.

Police said a judge had denied Turner’s request for a restraining order, but had set a hearing for it for Friday.
One possible reason for denying the injunction is that Turner did not have enough evidence her life was on the line.

"You have to show that you are in imminent danger of being beaten or seriously injured," said Lundy Langston from Florida A&M University.

While the majority of injunctions do work, they can make an abuser even more upset to the point where they snap.

"It intensifies the danger that she’s in and she’s more likely to be killed or seriously harmed," Langston said.

Langston said a  judge must hear a case at most 15 days after an injunction is filed. The court has to notify both parties.

"You have to understand that both individuals have certain rights and the abuser has certain rights too that the court has to comply with as well," Langston said.

Even if you’re not in an abusive relationship, experts said it’s always good to have a safety plan.

How would you escape a dangerous person?  Where would you go?  How would you get to a phone?
Experts suggest making a plan for places like your home and work.
Experts also said 98 percent of all victims never spoke with a domestic abuse advocate.

If you know someone who is in a bad relationship, call a hotline and hand the phone over to your loved one.

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