Memphis mother’s murder sheds light on domestic violence

Mother's murder shed lights on DV problem

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Women are often taught to fear the stranger walking in a dark alley, but experts say when it comes to homicides, the perpetrator is most often an intimate partner.

The death of a young Memphis mother who was murdered in front of her own children touched a nerve with a lot of people.

WMC Action News 5 did some digging and found this type of violence happens more than you may think.

U.S. Marshals arrested Michael McKinnie on Tuesday. It happened almost two weeks after investigators say he shot and killed his wife, Latarica Stripling, in front of her two young children.

Stripling’s mother, Yolanda, says while she’s glad McKinnie is in jail, it doesn’t put her at ease.

“My daughter’s life is not returning, so it just gave a very nervousness. It was like the day it happened all over again,” said Yolanda Stripling.

Stripling says the reason she’s been public with her pain is because she wants to spare others from the pain of domestic violence.

She says she’s already heard from several victims.

“One young lady sent me a picture of her face the day after when I posted. She said this is what I’m going through. She said you don’t know me, but your story has helped me,” said Yolanda Stripling.

Mother's murder sheds light on DV problem

“It’s heartbreaking. It is,” said Olliette Murry-Drobot, Family Safe Center executive director.

Olliette Murry-Drobot is director of the Family Safety Center, which helps victims of domestic violence.

She says LaTarica Stripling’s death is part of a larger problem.

“We often think of crime in terms of someone walking down a dark alley but for women the most dangerous place for them is their home,” said Murry-Drobot.

According to the CDC, over half of female homicide victims in the U,S. are killed by an intimate partner.

Tennessee didn't provide numbers for that report, so we analyzed almost a decade of crime reported to TBI... cases when the relationship between victim and offender was known.

We found 47 percent of female homicide victims in Tennessee were killed by their husband or boyfriend and 40 percent of female homicide victims in Shelby County suffered the same fate.

While those numbers may be alarming, experts say the important thing to remember is that help is always available.

As for Michael McKinnie, police say he was arrested without incident.

He will make his first court appearance Thursday.

The Family Safety Center in Memphis provides a number of resources for victims of domestic violence.

The agency also operates a 24-hour crisis line with people standing by to help. You can call it at 901-249-7611.

The family of Latarica Stripling has set up a GoFundMe account to help with expenses for raising her three young children. If you’re interested in helping, click here.

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