TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y.(WKBW) — A Buffalo family is planning a funeral for their 40-year-old daughter, Akeda Howton, two days after they reported her missing. Authorities found her shot to death in the Town of Tonawanda.
Akeda's family said she will always be remembered as a loving person.
"My daughter was a beautiful, creative, smart, bright young lady. She had a big loving heart," said Anita, Howton's mother. "She'd do anything for anybody."
Akeda leaves behind not only a big loving family but a 7-week-old son who is in the NICU.
"His name is Kanon, and he has a long way to go. I'm going to be a grandmother and a mother all over again," Anita said.
Town of Tonawanda Police said Akeda was found inside a parked car outside the Raintree Apartments, where she appeared to be shot several times.
Akeda's family believes she was a domestic violence victim and urges others not to ignore the warning signs.
"He was controlling. He had mental health that he wasn't dealing with, and she realized it was a mistake being with him and decided not to be with him anymore," Anita said of the father of Akeda's child, Kenneth Worthy. "That's when he decided to make threats, and Wednesday of last week, he pulled out a gun."
Police have not named Worthy as a suspect in connection to Akeda's death.
"Cowards are born every day. It takes a real man to be a hero," Anita said. "Make sure you know who you're with and make sure when you see the red flags to get help for yourself, and she was ready to get out, and that's what makes a narcissist so angry, and that's why he did what he did."
Pennsylvania State Police confirmed Tuesday to 7 News that Worthy died by suicide in a hotel room at the Erie Inn & Suites in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Akeda's brother, Akeem Howton, said he and his sister were close but said something was wrong the last time he saw her.
"That night she just seemed off and didn't look me in the eye and it was very short and I said okay, I'll see you later and that's the last thing I was able to say to my sister," he said.
Town of Tonawanda Police said this is an ongoing investigation, and no additional information will be released at this time.
If you or someone you know is in need of help you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or text START to 88788. You can also reach the Family Justice Center at 716-558-7233 and the Child and Family Services Domestic Violence Help Hotline at (716) 884-6000.