4 years later, family remembers domestic violence victim Kayla Fannon

Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 10:13 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - On a day about love, a Peoria family is making sure awareness is brought to domestic violence.

It’s been four years since Kayla Fannon, 30, was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend David Jenkins.

“I’m not sure why this is the hardest year, but I’m going to keep going,” said Mercedes Fannon, Kayla’s sister.

With each year comes more pain as Fannon’s family tries to find closure.

“After four years, you would think that things would get a little easier. For me, it’s like it happened yesterday still,” said her Marni Rora.

Police listened to Fannon’s plea for help in 2019 after Jenkins sent her threatening messages and phone calls. Jenkins was out on parole for assaulting Fannon two years earlier.

About seven hours later on Valentine’s Day, Jenkins shot and killed Fannon before killing himself.

Each anniversary of her death loved ones meet where it happened on John Gwynn Jr. Avenue in Peoria.

Rora wants people to know there’s help out there, like the Center for Prevention of Abuse or OSF Strive.

“We did not know my niece was in this situation, and that’s the hardest thing because we felt like we could have maybe helped her, saved her,” said Rora.

They also plan to keep Fannon’s memory alive, Rora is raising three of Fannon’s four children.

“I talk about her to her children. We show a lot of pictures, just keeping her memory alive that way. They know who she is, they know her name,” continued Rora, “It’s hard, her oldest daughter looks just like her.”

Fannon’s family was awarded a $1.5 million wrongful death settlement in 2020 after suing the city and the officer who responded the night before her death.

After the killing of Fannon, Peoria Police say there is an officer on staff who follows up on all domestic complaints.

“Hopefully so no one ends up in the same situation as my niece,” said Rora.