CARNEGIE (KDKA) — It was two years ago Saturday that Melissa Bowers was murdered in Carnegie, investigators say at the hands of her ex-boyfriend.

Her mother says she didn’t know her daughter was being abused, and ever since Melissa’s death, she’s been on a crusade to spread awareness about domestic violence.

For Colleen Bowers and her family what happened inside a Carnegie home on Railroad Avenue early in the morning of Jan. 8, 2012, changed their lives forever.

Authorities say Jeffery Maloy stabbed 36-year-old Melissa Bowers in the back, killing her. The two reportedly had a violent relationship with a past of domestic violence.

“I don’t think she ever thought it would escalate to a brutal, and it was a brutal murder. It wasn’t something simple,” Colleen said. “He was even at the bar with her the night he murdered her. He tried to choke her in the bar. The bartender tried to tell her, ‘Don’t go with him.’ She says, ‘I’ll be fine.’”

The pain still burns deep for Bowers’ family, friends and her two children, ages 8 and 16.

Those who loved her now focus on honoring her memory, speaking out to break the cycle of abuse before it’s too late.

Congressman Tim Murphy spoke at the vigil.

“It is important that families in the community know that there’s other people who care about them, and are looking out for them, and will help speak up for them because many times they feel like they are alone,” he said.

History can’t be changed for Melissa Bowers, but her mom is hoping what she’s doing in the present will change the future for abuse victims.

Jeffery Maloy is currently serving a 20 to 40 year sentence for killing Melissa Bowers.

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