Family remembers the life of daughter, murdered 1 year ago
Vigil held for Rebecca Coughenour.
11:28 PM, Dec 20, 2013
11:29 PM, Dec 20, 2013
For Cathy McGowan, the pain is raw.
She has Christmas decorations up now but this time last year, she wanted nothing to do with Christmas when she lost her daughter Rebecca Coughenour just five days before.
"I can't even believe she's gone, like, I still can't believe she's not here. You know, I keep thinking I'll get a phone call and she'll say, 'Ma, i had to go away for a while but I'm here," said Cathy.
She remembers December 20, 2012 as if it were yesterday.
No arrest was made, and no charges filed in the brutal stabbing death.
The primary suspect, Brandon Jerome Nowlin, Rebecca's ex-boyfriend, was found dead that same December day. Police say he took his own life.
Family and friends are focused on remembering Rebecca, not for how she died, but how she lived.
"When I think about Becky, I think about how strong she was and how independent she was. And how big her heart was. She would do just about anything for anybody that she cared about and it didn't matter how it would put her out," said Christine Leaky, one of Rebecca's older sisters.
"She didn't let you know her troubles but she was a very happy, very outgoing girl and everybody loved her," Cathy added.
A photo album stuffed with memories helps them remember Becky just like that.
They say healing has and will continue to take time, but getting the word out about domestic violence has been a comfort.
"I think it's really important for anybody who is in the situation or knows of anybody who is in the situation to speak up and do something about it. ... You could literally save somebody's life," said Christine.
As part of the family's effort to raise awareness about domestic violence, Cathy is writing a book about her daughter's life.