Willis woman tried to end her relationship with her ex just before her murder, family says

WILLIS, Texas (KTRK) -- The family of the woman murdered in Willis Thursday said she tried to end the relationship with her ex-husband in the weeks prior to the deadly shooting.

Kelsey Roush identified the woman killed as her sister, 29-year-old Elizabeth Garner Vance. Roush said Elizabeth would have turned 30 years old this Sunday.

Roush said Elizabeth divorced Austin Vance in 2014, before getting back together in late 2018.

"About a week ago, she told him she was done and wanted to leave him. As soon as he found out that she was trying to leave him, he went AWOL," said Roush. "She was a damn good mother. She was a hard worker who would do anything for anybody. She'd give you the shirt off her back. I pray to God we can get something started for domestic violence in her name."

Elizabeth leaves behind her 6-year-old son, Hunter. Loved ones created a GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses.

Sheriff deputies said Austin Vance shot Elizabeth Thursday afternoon before calling 911 to turn himself in.

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Eyewitness News spoke with Emilee Dawn Whitehurst. She leads the Houston Area Women's Center. They have advocates standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you free of charge. Whitehurst said victims must develop a safety plan when escaping domestic violence situations.

"When a person is finally at the point where they are ready to say enough is enough, that is, in fact, when they are most in danger," said Whitehurst. "What they may not know, what I want them to know, is there are a lot of resources available to people who are leaving domestic violence situations."

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