Daughter of slain Vance County woman warns others of domestic violence

HENDERSON, NC (WTVD) -- A Warren County man is facing a murder charge following a deadly weekend shooting.

Michael Talley, 47, was arrested and charged in the death of 59-year-old Ruth Antoinette Mallette.

The Vance County Sheriff's Office responded to a home in the 100 block of Brunswick Lane. That's where they found Mallette, who had suffered an apparent gunshot wound.

"I feel like I have a lot of questions I didn't get to ask," said Tia Simone Samuel, Mallette's daughter.

Samuel said Talley, who she had only met a handful of times, was her mother's boyfriend.

Mallette's death represents a shocking end to what was a burgeoning chapter following a family move from Baltimore in 2010.

"This was supposed to be my mom's new start," Samuel explained.

Away at school for most of their relationship, Samuel said her mother never discussed any issues with the relationship with her.

"Whenever they were around us, like the public, they would put on this front. But clearly it was something else going on," said Samuel, implying she believed that "something else" was domestic violence.

It's a difficult thought that Samuel said her mother, an Army veteran, never disclosed to her.

Now, Samuel is warning others to intervene in toxic relationships.

"If you feel like these people around them should know, the people that are inside their close bubble, you need to let them know," Samuel expressed.

It is advice she hopes will prevent a future tragedy, representing a fitting tribute to a woman whose advice meant everything.

"Make sure you hug your loved ones when you can. Because you never know when you're never going to see them again," said Samuel, as she battled tears.

Talley was also charged with possession of a firearm by a felon.

Funeral arrangements have not been finalized.

The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with memorial costs.
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