Julie, the pregnant victim from Indiana was denied a protective order against her estranged husband just ten days before.
Trigger Warning: The following content contains mentions and descriptions of gun violence, murder, death by suicide, and mental health which some readers may find distressing.
On December 19, authorities discovered the deaths of Julie Yow-Schmidtke, 36, and Charles Schmidtke, 41, in their Columbus, Ohio, home, in an apparent murder-suicide case. Charles apparently shot his estranged wife, Julie, and then went on to shoot himself, per PEOPLE.
Julie's family shared that ten days prior to her alleged murder-suicide, Julie, the pregnant victim from Indiana was denied a protective order against her estranged husband, according to WLKY. Police suspect the divorced couple argued before the fatal shooting, which family members said occurred in front of her two sons. Julie's sister Lori Griffin, who spoke to WLKY, shared that Julie wanted a restraining order against her estranged husband. "She was scared, very scared," Griffin added. "She started changing the locks on her doors, she started concealing. She got cameras put up all around the house," she continued.
Griffin claimed that after Charles had attacked Julie three months into their marriage, the couple's relationship soured. According to court documents, Julie filed for divorce five days before she passed away. According to Columbus, Indiana police, she was killed in her house on Sumpter Court in what appears to have been a murder-suicide.
"He shot her several times in front of her son, then at that point, he came into the hallway, looked at [her son] Landon with a smile on his face and said, 'I'm here for your mother, you boys need to call your father to come to pick you up,' then he dragged her into the bedroom to finish the job," Griffin said. "He executed her."
Griffin stated that as the family gets ready to say goodbye to Julie and her unborn child, Caroline, they are unhappy with the legal system because they feel like it let them down. "They had a chance to take his guns away, it would've been harder for him to find a gun to attack my sister like they just completely failed her," Griffin said. "It's unspeakable. It's going to be a big hole in our family."
Police stated that their investigation is ongoing. The family expressed their appreciation for the community's outpouring of support in the wake of the tragedy. Since then, a GoFundMe campaign has been created to raise money for Julie's funeral. "We are all in shock. We are all devastated. We are at a loss for words. We are hurt. We are confused. We are angry."
The victim was remembered as someone with "the brightest smile, contagious laugh, and the biggest heart." The GoFundMe stated, "Julie loved her family more than anything in this world. Especially her boys. Her boys were everything to her."
"I'm hoping we can all come together to relieve some of the stress of paying for a funeral for the family," reads the fundraising page, launched by Morgan Ping. "Pray for the family, pray for the boys, pray for peace."
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe