COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Family members of 28-year-old Jessica Osborne, who was murdered on Tuesday night, spoke to News Leader 9 about the pain of losing her so abruptly just three months before her 29th birthday.
Authorities arrested 23-year-old Vashon Walker, Osborne's fiancé who lived with Osborne at her home on Forrest Road. The couple had moved into their new home on Friday with Osborne's three young daughters.
"I remember getting text messages and Facebook notifications around midnight," explained Chris Morton, Osborne's brother. "I thought it was odd how I kept getting messages about people wanting to get in touch with our dad to talk to him about my sister. I thought it was a prank. But when I saw the posts on my sister's Facebook wall, I knew something was seriously wrong."
Morton, 25, drove about five hours from Mississippi Tuesday night as soon as he heard about Osborne's shooting incident. He brought his fianceé, brother and his father to Columbus.
"My sister and I were so close," Morton said. "We were like two slices of bread. We were really close. Jessica was a loving and kind person. She loved to do things with her kids."
Morton said Osborne's three young daughters are confused and shocked about their mother's death.
"The 2-year-old niece doesn't understand what happened," Morton said. "She's just a baby. But the 10-year-old and the 7-year-old were asking me heartbreaking questions. They used to talk about Walker like he was their dad. The girls want to know why he shot their mother. They want to know why they hurt her when they thought he loved Jessica."
Morton said the family is trying to get custody of Osborne's three daughters to look after them.
"I think my sister would have wanted that," Morton said. "The girls were not home when my sister was murdered. We sent them home to Mississippi Wednesday."
Authorities found Walker sitting on his front porch covered in blood and found Osborne in the living room with a gunshot wound to the left side of her head. Coroner Buddy Bryan had pronounced Osborne dead at the scene at 7:50 p.m. that Tuesday night.
"There are four holes on the wall pierced by bullets," Morton said. "She still has pictures of Walker in her bedroom…her boxes are still unpacked."
Morton said he had a bad feeling about Walker when Osborne brought him to Mississippi to introduce her fiancé to the family.
"I just had a bad vibe about him," Morton said. "But I didn't know he had 16 old warrants for previous crimes years ago. If I had known what I know now, I would've done all that I can to keep him away from my sister. I'm not the one to tell my sister who to date and choose, but I would've done all that I can to protect her from this tragedy."
Osborne's body was taken to Atlanta for an autopsy Thursday afternoon. The coroner said Osborne's death is the 12th homicide in Columbus this year. Authorities say it is also the third death caused by domestic violence this year as well. Walker is currently in the Muscogee County Jail charged with murder, and he has a preliminary hearing for Saturday June 21, 2014 at 9 a.m.
This is still an ongoing investigation as officers look into why and how this incident happened.
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