Original article no longer available
News 14 Charlotte
Updated: 2/5/2005 2:42 PM
By: Lisa Reyes, News 14 Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Family members and survivors of domestic violence spoke out as they memorialized their lost loved ones in a gathering Saturday morning outside the Women’s Commission in uptown Charlotte.
“My son was shot to death on Oct. 28 in Union County, he was 19 years old,” mother Lora Deese said.
Deese was surrounded by family members as she released a balloon in memory of her son, Ronnie Deese. He was shot and killed along with his father, brother and sister.
Police say the sister’s husband, David Wyzanowski, was the man behind the chaos.
“I knew that David had raped her and beat her with a log chain and was locked up, I didn’t know he got out the first time or the second time,” Deese said. “Nobody even contacted them that he was out – which he shouldn’t have been.”
She misses her son, who she says was very protective of his family.
“He was (protective), they all were. That’s, I think, what got him where he is now.”
Deese says Wyzanowski was on anti-depressants and that may have played a role in his actions. “David wouldn’t have done what he did if it wasn’t so much going on in his mind because he didn’t seem like the kind of person that would hurt anybody.”
Families released balloons to memorialize their lost loved ones.
Domestic violence advocates like Heather Thompson say that is usually the case. She says abusers are smart and sometimes family members cannot even tell there is something happening.
“My ex-husband used to leave bruises on my arm or on my legs so that no one can see what he’s doing to me,” Thompson said.
Thompson says she still lives in fear – even though her ex-husband is behind bars.
“I have about 4 more years before he’s released and then I am going to figure out what I am going to do from there.”
For now, she helps survivors and family members who must find a way to cope.
In the Charlotte metro area, Union county comes in second to Mecklenburg for domestic violence – the numbers increased 75 percent in 2004.
So far in 2005, there have been no reported domestic violence murders in Mecklenburg County. Advocates hope to keep it that way by raising awareness about a problem they say can affect almost anyone.