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Friends say woman was in an increasingly abusive situation before her death

Posted at 10:27 PM, Dec 13, 2019

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — A sea of candles illuminated a dark street and a tragic situation in the Town of Tonawanda.

Friends and co-workers of 59-year-old Mavilie Ruiz gathered for a vigil in her memory on Friday night.

Police discovered Ruiz's body on Monday during a welfare check. They described the circumstances of her death as "suspicious."

Her husband, 50-year-old Jose Ruiz Jr., is now charged with 1st Degree Manslaughter.

Those who gathered at the vigil Friday night described Mavilie as a loving and caring woman who found herself in an increasingly abusive situation.

"We never judged her. We wish we could have helped her," said Frances Perry-Donovan, Ruiz's colleague.

Perry-Donovan said Ruiz would tell stories at work that suggested there was trouble at home.

"The stories she would tell were escalating," Perry-Donovan said.