WATERFORD, Mich. (WJBK) - The grieving family members of a Waterford mother of three are now taking care of the children she loved so much after she was murdered in her own kitchen.
Ashley Rich, 26, was shot to death in her apartment Sunday morning in Waterford. Police are still investigating and say her boyfriend is in custody but has not been charged.
Rich leaves behind three children, ages 10, 8 and 3. Now, those children are in the care of her family, including her mother Melinda Newcomb who is now planning her daughter's funeral.
"Her life blessed us but he has ruined our lives," Newcomb said. "A mother should never have to have her baby's name in a marble rock on the ground."
Newcomb is remembered as loving, generous, and a jokester. She's leaving behind the three children who will now be pallbearers in her funeral.
"Those kids were her life. She lived and breathed for the babies."
Waterford police say Rich's boyfriend is behind bars and is awaiting charges. Newcomb says he told police he was swinging a handgun on his finger inside their Waterford apartment, when it accidentally went off Sunday morning. Newcomb says she doesn't buy that story.
"Shot her in the back and it pierced her heart. She had no chance," Newcomb said.
She told FOX 2 that Rich's boyfriend was abusive and that Rich had photos on her phone of hidden bruises. She also said that the two had only been dating for a year and that she was planning to move out on September 1.
"He knew she was leaving," she said.
Newcomb says her daughter's boyfriend tried to attack her with a wrench when she confronted him about the abuse and even threatened to shoot Ashley one day for not making the bed.
"She thought everyone had a good heart and soul and he would change. I tried to tell her people like that don't change."
Newcomb says friends also tried to warn the young mother. She recalled a time her daughter's boyfriend went to a McDonald's while carrying a gun and looking for Rich's ex-husband.
"He thought my daughter was cheating on him with her ex husband."
Newcomb said her daughter's death could have been prevented and is warning others in similar situations.
"Please get help ladies. Before it's too late."
If you'd like to make a donation to help Ashley's family with the funeral costs, you can do so via their GoFundMe account here.