Julia Martin, 27, had broken up with her boyfriend of three years about six months before he forced his way into her apartment in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood and stabbed her multiple times. Martin was apparently considering giving Rodney Harvey, 35, back his engagement ring.
Harvey, whose family is citing a history of mental health concerns, appears to have thrown himself from Martin’s balcony after the attack. Meanwhile, she spent her last moments calling family and friends for help. She also called police for an ambulance.
“Call me ASAP,” read the text she sent to her father in her native Detroit, who had left his phone at home to charge while he ran to the store.
“Not only did she call me, she texted me while she was going through all this,” Derrick Martin, her father, said to The Chicago Tribune. “She was calling everybody, saying that she wanted help. She called another friend and she was panting over the phone, trying to get her breath. He thought it was a prank and he hung up on her. He feels so bad.”
Martin went on to explain that, in a way, it may be better that he didn’t receive the phone call because he was hundreds of miles away at the time and would’ve been completely helpless.
Harvey’s family seconded Martin’s surprise at Harvey’s attack, citing no prior evidence of abuse in the relationship, although his brother Nick also mentioned that it’s very difficult to know what goes on behind closed doors.
“How her dad said he wouldn’t have seen this coming? It’s true,” Nick Harvey, Rodney’s brother, said. “There wasn’t any indication that there was any domestic abuse. I’m not naive, I know a lot of times you don’t see it if it’s behind closed doors, but I know my brother, he’s just not a violent person.”
Harvey’s family has recently come under criticism for turning to crowdfunding to raise money for his funeral services despite his involvement in the brutal murder-suicide. Many consider it to be done in bad taste.
Unfortunately, Martin won’t be able to follow through on her plans to travel the world and go to Africa for the holiday season. And, yet another young Black woman’s life has ended in intimate partner violence.