Ochelata Family Holds Candlelight Vigil In Honor Of Murdered Loved One
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Oklahoma - The family of the woman who was murdered in Ochelata is holding a vigil in her honor Thursday night.
Michele Mayes’ family says she was killed by her ex-boyfriend and they are hoping her story will help others.
Michele's family says she saw the good in everyone, unfortunately, they think that's what may have led to her death on Tuesday. According to police, Michele was shot and killed by Jeff Thomas after she filed a protective order against him a week earlier for domestic abuse.
"Michele was a beautiful, beautiful spirit. She was a mother and a sister and a daughter and a friend and an aunt, grandmother. She was a woman of tremendous faith," said Michele’s sister Melissa Lindgren.
Her faith brought her here to work at Glorious Connections a Christian bookstore.
"She had a servant’s heart and was a helper and a giver and so she really found her place working here in a ministry and in the situation, it fit her very well," said Melissa.
Because she dedicated her life to helping others, her family wants to do the same. Michele's mom wants to send a message that women can and should speak up about domestic violence because people want to help.
"Don't be alone. Don't be alone. Don't go through it alone. Tell somebody. And then you know just take all your necessary precautions even after the fact. A protective order will only do so much," said Melissa.
The family is now making it their mission to make sure people remember Michele for how she lived rather than how she died.
"She was a woman of great faith. Loved her family, loved her children and grandchild and she was not this tragedy. She was so much more," said Melissa.
Michele's family will be holding a vigil on Thursday at 7:30 at the Washington County Courthouse to honor her and bring awareness to domestic violence prevention.