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Family of Iowa Street murder victim speaks out

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Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 6:37 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The family of the woman killed in the murder-suicide on Iowa Street is talking about the events leading up to her death.

Rachael Feazell’s family says more could have been done to protect her. They want to raise awareness for signs of domestic violence.

Police say Rachael Feazell was shot and killed by her ex boyfriend, Ryan Hopkins, two hours after police advised her to get a protective order against him.

Her 10-year-old daughter was there to witness it, and call the police.

“To have your daughter murdered, and have your granddaughter witness the whole incident....It’s hell,” said Feazell’s mother, Kelly Griggs.

“What happened to Rachael...I can’t wrap my head around it,” said Feazell’s aunt, Connie Henry.

An affidavit shows Feazell had charged Hopkins for battery and intimidation in 2020.

Family says she dropped the charges because Hopkins promised her he would change.

Her last protective order expired on November 1, 2021.

“A lot of people that’s in a domestic situation, that’s all they know,” said Griggs.

“She was scared,” said Feazell’s cousin, Amy Sims. “He intimidated her so much that she couldn’t get away from him. She could have went to the other side of the country and he would have found her.”

Family says no protective order would have protected their daughter from what Hopkins did.

They say they want people to know about other options for resources, like Holly’s House and the Chloe Randolph Foundation, before it’s too late.

“They have to know about them to begin with, and they have to be brave enough to go there and say ‘How do I get away from the Ryans in the world?’” said Henry.

Their next steps are to remember Rachael for who she was.

“She loved everybody, everybody loved her,” said Henry.

“I was trying to think the other day, and I can’t think of anybody that didn’t like her,” Sims said.

[Related Story: Neighbors react to apparent murder-suicide in Evansville]

Family is taking care of Feazell’s daughter, and helping her cope with what she witnessed.

“She couldn’t wear her shoes home because they were covered in her mama’s blood,” Henry said.

“Here he took an innocent life, a mother from her daughter,” said Griggs. “It’s a nightmare I can’t wake up from.”

Feazell’s family is still making funeral arrangements.

They ask the community to wear purple for her as a symbol for domestic violence.

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