Funeral services are set for Friday for a Grand Prairie teenager, killed by her abusive boyfriend earlier this month.
Desiree Morris, 17, was found dead in a wooded area in the 2400 block of Pioneer Parkway April 6, one day after her boyfriend, 29-year-old Ivan Arellano, fatally shot himself in the parking lot of an Arlington shopping center.
At the time of his death, Arellano was under investigation for a reported assault on Morris one month before. According to family members, he beat her with a wrench, breaking her jaw and nose.
"What happened to her should happen to no one," Morris’ father Paul Morris said in a video posted to Facebook. "No young girl deserves this."
For months, family members and friends of Desiree Morris tried to encourage to the teen to leave Arellano, according to a report from the Dallas Morning News.
"She was just so brainwashed," Morris’ aunt, Margaret Torres, told the Dallas Morning News.
Professionals who work to help domestic violence survivors have heard similar stories before. Brighter Tomorrows in Grand Prairie CEO Diana Franzetti said statistics show it takes seven attempts before a person can successfully leave their abuser.
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"The first step is very hard," she said. "I have learned that people are a lot stronger than they think they are. Once they can start getting resources and start getting information, they are very much more likely to act on it."
For information on where to seek help for domestic violence, click here.