There have been a cluster of recent cases involving young women who have either been reported missing or killed. Many times, their husbands or boyfriends have been suspects, and those numbers have domestic violence advocates sounding the alarm.
Domestic violence is a complicated issue that affects people in every demographic, and there is no simple solution to stop it -- but the data collected so far this year has experts wondering what more can be learned to combat the problem.
Beautiful women from different corners of the metro have become part of a growing list no one wants their loved one to be placed on.
"We like to think of bad things happening out there and not here with us, and that is one of the things we know," explained Liz Richards, executive director of the Coalition for Battered Women.
Each year, the coalition compiles the Femicide Report, a list of women who died as a result of domestic violence in Minnesota.
"It's sort of a reminder. These are our friends, our coworkers -- this is really an issue that touches all of us," Richards said.
Last year, the statistics were down with 18 victims statewide; however, there are already seven names on the list for this year.
Some of those may sound familiar to news viewers in the metro. Manya Johnson was murdered and dismembered by her husband, Steven. He pleaded guilty in her death last week.
Also last week, police announced an arrest in the death of 18-year-old Brittany Clardy, whose battered body was found in the back seat of her mother's car after it was towed to an impound lot. Investigators say she was killed by 23-year-old Alberto Palmer, who she met on Backpage.com.
In Maplewood, residents were rattled by the stabbing death of 16-year-old Anna Hurd. Her 17-year-old boyfriend, Anthony Mitchell, is facing murder charges in her death.
The search for the body of Kira Trevino also continued this past weekend, although prosecutors say the evidence found in the St. Paul home she shared with her husband was enough to charge 39-year-old Jeffrey Trevino with murder.
Meanwhile, loved ones are still searching for Danielle Jelinek, who went missing in Chisago County and still has not been found. Her name is not included in the Femicide Report, but Richards said her organization will continue to monitor the case closely until she is found.
On Tuesday, Richards and other domestic violence advocates will take the stories of the victims to the Capitol to seek additional funding for shelters -- especially since three offices have closed their doors in the past year even though the number of people seeking help in the state is close to 63,000.
"The numbers point to a high rate of domestic violence going on," Richards said.
Richards says it's too early to know how many of the victims on the 2013 Femicide Report may have tried to get help, but simply being aware of the situation often spurs others to look at their own relationships and loved ones differently.
"Hopefully, it won't continue at that rate through the year, but we never know," she said.
On average, the number of domestic violence-related deaths in Minnesota ranges from 15-30 annually.
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