NEW ORLEANS - As family and friends clasp hands in prayer, it's clear the home in which they gather has a void.
Every day since Monday, they've come together to mourn the death of Jammie Williams, 30, apparently murdered at the hands of her ex-husband.
"She loved, she laughed, she dreamed high," said Hattie Matthews, Williams' godmother. "We are going to miss her so very much. So much."
Family members said Williams and Kevin McCoy, 30, had a rocky relationship since they married in 2010. Early Monday morning, they say, McCoy kidnapped Williams from her home in the 1800 block of St. Roch Avenue as she left for work.
"She did tell me his words to her at one time was, 'You're going to be the death of me. And if I can't have you, nobody else will,'" said Matthews.
Deputies in McCoy's hometown of Marion County, Mississippi, said they received a call from his family just after 10 a.m. Monday, directing them to a grave in a wooded area of the county.
There, authorities found Williams shot to death. Deputies said McCoy shot himself as they approached. He was in the drivers' seat of Williams' car.
The Marion County coroner said Williams was shot at least once in the abdomen; McCoy was shot in the head.
"Kevin was just so mean, evil-spirited somebody, took away my godchild, took her from her daughter, from her family," said Matthews. "How do you murder someone you claim to love?"
New Orleans police said its not the first incident at Williams' home. Since the year began, police said they've been called out twice for domestic disturbances between Williams and McCoy.
On March 19, just two weeks before Williams' death, police responded to a call that McCoy struck Williams, scratching her wrist.
NOPD also responded Jan. 22, when Williams reported McCoy was harrassing her over the phone, then showed up at her door at 3:30 a.m.
Both times, police issued warrants for domestic charges but said they didn't arrest McCoy because they couldn't find him.
Matthews said McCoy had recently started taking anger management classes. She said Williams filed restraining orders against McCoy in the past, but was unsure if one was active when Williams was kidnapped. A search of records showed a judge issued a stay away order in 2010, but Williams asked that it be removed in 2011.
Matthews said Williams reached out to a domestic violence program recently, but was unsure of the outcome.
"I truly believe the system has failed Jammie because she has tried several times, but to no avail, and it may not have resulted to this," said Matthews. "Her precious life is gone, never to return."
McCoy has a long arrest record that includes domestic violence and guilty pleas for assault. Family members said McCoy was released from jail last fall, after serving time for abusing another woman.
Now, they hope, a woman lost won't be forgotten.
"Young ladies, your life is precious," said Matthews. "Please, if you're in this situation, get out. Get out."
Marion County authorities are still investigating.
Williams' funeral is set for Tuesday, April 10. Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at D.W. Rhodes Funeral Home. Services will follow, from 11 a.m. to noon. Williams will be buried at Mount Olivet Cemetary.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation, call Catholic Charities domestic violence crisis line at 504-866-9554.