Family mourns the loss of loved ones to domestic violence

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 12:05 AM CDT
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WEST PEORIA (25 News Now) - New details have been learned about the woman and her eight-year old son killed Thursday in a case of domestic violence. She had moved away after getting a protection order.

Now, her family hopes others facing similar troubles will be able to escape before it’s too late.

“She was more than a sister, she was like my best friend,” said brother of Quardreka Payne, Eric Hall.

Hall is focusing on picking up the pieces, now raising his twin nieces.

“There wasn’t a boring day around her because she always found some way to make you laugh,” said Hall.

His sister, 32-year-old Quardreka Payne. was murdered last week, along with her 8-year-old son Cael Thorton. Little Cael wanted to be a racecar driver when he grew up.

“It broke my heart because he didn’t live his full life,” Hall continued, “He played with his friends that Wednesday and the next day he was gone.”

Quardreka’s husband, 34-year-old Rickey Payne, is accused of murdering the two. Prosecutors say it happened after an argument over text messages. He allegedly shot and killed Quardreka and then Cael.

“Anybody kills a kid in cold blood and shoots them in the head and makes them lay down is a monster,” said Hall.

Hall says his sister “Dreka” had done everything she could to get away from Rickey.

Hall helped Dreka move to Peoria two years ago to leave Rickey behind. Rickey showed up in Peoria a year ago. That’s when Dreka filed for an order of protection. The order was filed from November of last year through November 16 of this year. Rickey was ordered to stay 300 feet away from her, the kids, and the home.

“He made a couple threats, but I never thought anything of it. I never thought he would take it to this extreme,” said Hall.

Hall says Rickey came to Peoria last week because he wanted to see their twin daughters, Jermia and Jermani.

A few days later, Quardreka and Cael were dead.

“He refused to get help. He felt he didn’t need it,” said Hall.

Not everyone knew what was going on behind closed doors.

“She would limit how much bad stuff she would tell us,” said Pastor James Waldrop Sr., Quardreka’s father.

Only to live a father’s worst nightmare.

“I couldn’t even stand up. And then I called my wife and I couldn’t hardly tell her, and when I did tell her she almost passed out,” said Waldrop.

Waldrop hopes her story can help other victims of domestic violence.

While they make funeral arrangements, their family prays for justice.

“Life in prison. Never get out. He’s a monster,” said Hall.

The family has created a GoFundMe.