A pregnant Indiana woman was refused a protection order against her estranged husband 10 days before she was slain in an apparent murder-suicide, according to WLKY. Authorities found the remains of Julie Yow-Schmidtke, 36, and Charles Schmidtke, 41, inside their Columbus home on December 19, according to WishTV.com.
“Julie was found to have multiple gunshot wounds to her body and Charles died from a single gunshot to the head. The investigation is ongoing,” the Bartholomew County Coroner’s Office said in a statement obtained by The Republic.
According to WLKY, police think the couple, who were in the process of divorcing, had an argument previous to the deadly shooting, which happened in front of her two boys. The Columbus Police Department did not reply quickly to PEOPLE‘s request for more information.
Julie’s sister Lori Griffin told WLKY that everything “went sour” after Julie and Charles married. “She was scared, very scared,” Griffin said, adding that her sister’s unborn baby also died in the tragedy. “She started changing the locks on her doors, she started concealing. She got cameras put up all around the house,” Griffin claimed, per the outlet.
Griffin said that Charles assaulted Julie early in their marriage and that she felt “that would get [Julie] a protection order,” according to the source. Griffin said that the order was refused by a court just 10 days before the fatal incident. PEOPLE were unable to receive details about the aforementioned protective order immediately.
According to court documents, Julie filed divorce papers with Bartholomew Superior Court 1 on December 14. The court set a hearing for January 5, 2023. A GoFundMe page has already been set up to help with Julie’s funeral costs.
“We are all in shock. We are all devastated. We are at a loss for words. We are hurt. We are confused. We are angry. I’m hoping we can all come together to relieve some of the stress of paying for a funeral for the family,” reads the fundraising page, launched by Morgan Ping. “Pray for the family, pray for the boys, pray for peace.”
The victim was remembered as someone with “the brightest smile, contagious laugh, and the biggest heart.” “Julie loved her family more than anything in this world. Especially her boys. Her boys were everything to her.”