MADISON (WKOW)-- More than a hundred grieving family members and friends gathered at a home on Kanazawa Circle Tuesday night after reports of a murder-suicide involving a stepfather and daughter.
The grief is still so near for many who knew the victim 19-year-old Tu'neija Tornai and her stepfather 39-year-old Michael Jackson.
Workers at Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) say the hurt will reach far beyond this close-knit group of family members and friends.
"When you have a young person who is so vibrant and on the cusp of adulthood and was obviously so cherished by her friends and family, you see that loss," says DAIS Executive Director Shannon Barry.
"It's not just the loss of life, but the loss of a woman with so much potential that will never be fulfilled."
In honor of her memory, workers at DAIS lit a remembrance lantern that will shine all this week through the DAIS front window.
"It's a symbol of our collective mourning," Barry explains.
It's a symbol they light every time a life is lost to domestic violence in Wisconsin. The lantern has been lit 20 times already this year.
"Far too many," Barry says. "We've had to change out the bulb a few times."
Barry says a tragedy such as this often leads to an increase in calls to their 24-hour help line. She says it's mostly people who are looking for someone to talk to or domestic violence victims who are now motivated to seek help.
There's also the concern that abusers will use this recent tragedy as a weapon to further control their victims, by telling their victims a similar tragedy will befall them if they don't follow their orders.
"We want to make sure that anybody who is out there who is dealing with any sort of control in a relationship or a family knows there are services available," Barry explains.
You can reach one of DAIS workers and volunteers by calling their 24-hour helpline at (608) 251-4445
The helpline is free and confidential to anyone who reaches out.
"Our staff and volunteers have been put on notice to be available," Barry says. "To expect some additional calls over the next few days after this tragedy."