MACON, Ga. — May 23 marked five years since LaSmockie Fountain was found dead in a backyard after a domestic dispute. COVID-19 didn't stop her family from remembering her Saturday morning.
If you were around Case Street, you could hear sirens and horns honking. You could see cars with purple balloons and signs all remembering who Fountain was.
"She was such a lovely person, very beautiful, a great mother, and she absolutely loved to dance," said her aunt, Sharon Stafford.
Family and friends drove around the neighborhood and later passed by where Fountain was killed five years ago after a domestic violence dispute.
The Bibb County Sheriff's Office says LaSmockie was shot to death by her boyfriend, Derrick Khunta Booze. He committed suicide days later. He was a person of interest.
At the time, Booze already had warrants out for aggravated assault/family violence, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, home invasion, and pointing a pistol at another.
Now, the backyard where her body was found is marked by posters with pictures of her and messages from family reading "our treasure" and "we love you."
"It's to show we do not tolerate domestic violence," Stafford said.
The family has made it their mission to bring awareness to the violence that ended LaSmockie's life.
"First and foremost, she will not leave in vain... not at all," said Cynthia Fountain-Howard, LaSmockie's aunt. "If you see any kind of sign, whether it's abuse, demanding -- get away, get away before it's too late."
Sheriff David Davis says Saturday's event was a testament to the impact domestic violence has on family.
"These victims are not forgotten, and the far-reaching effects whenever someone is a victim of domestic violence. And these five years later, the family still remembers her and grieves," Davis said.
Both the sheriff's office and LaSmockie's family are urging everyone to be aware of what could easily be happening to someone you know.
"It could be happening to people around you. People you love. So you should be aware," said Solano Fountain, LaSmockie's son.
He was only 13-years-old when he lost his mother.
"Have that courage to ask those questions," Davis said. "Be that friend, family member, church member, to impact their life."
By doing that, Davis says you may save a life.
Fountain's family says they will continue to keep her legacy alive. They plan to host their annual Domestic Violence Awareness walk for LaSmockie in October.
Resources for domestic violence victims:
The Crisis Line and Safe House of Central Georgia works to protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. They have a new mobile number while people are working from home. You can reach them at 478-745-9292.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-7233. Advocates are available to speak 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, trying to find resources or those with questions about unhealthy relationships.
If you're unable to speak safely, you can log onto the National Domestic Violence Hotline website or text LOVEIS to 22522.
If you're in an emergency situation, call 911 immediately.
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