Topeka family shares mother’s memory after she was found dead in her home

Local News

TOPEKA (KSNT) — A Topeka woman’s life and story are being remembered by her family after she was found dead in her home.

It was the news Deborah Stephen’s family never expected, finding their mother dead in her home.

“She knew it,” Ashlei Angel said. “I knew it. I said it so many times.”

Deborah talked to her daughter, Ashlei, many times about how she was scared that Jon Ewing would do something to her. Ewing was an ex-boyfriend.

On April 29, he was charged with murdering Deborah.

“She had been murdered and that he was the one who was booked as a result of it,” Anna Lippold said.

Ashlei and Anna are two of her daughters. They both shared their mother’s story ith KSNT News about the ups and downs she was facing throughout her whole life. A struggle with drug addiction and relationships that weren’t right for her.

“Domestic violence sucks, it sucks bad,” Ashlei said.

Her daughters said drug abuse was not an acceptable reason for Deborah’s life to be taken away.

“She deserved to be protected,” Ashlei said. “Just because people are addicts, or just because people are crazy, does not exclude them. We have to watch over them even more. They need our help more, and she should have been helped more.”

“I hope that women who are in that position are strong enough to reach out, to ask for help, to see those signs early and to not stick around,” Anna said. “Because, ultimately, it could result in the end of your life.”

Of course, her family wasn’t prepared for this day to come. Finding the money for her funeral has been difficult. So much so, a GoFundMe has been started in her honor to help her kids who just want their mom to have peace.

“We do want to lay her to rest in bunker hill next to her mom and dad,” Anna said.

Deborah was 58 years old. Her life, taken away in the hands of someone else, not giving her kids a last chance to say their goodbyes.

“I wish that she knew I did love her,” Anna said. “I didn’t get a chance to say that again.”

“I love you and I miss you,” Ashlei said. “And we’re going to make a difference in this. We’re going to take this and we’re going to do something good with it.”

Jon Ewing is not only facing a murder charge, but also one for kidnapping and burglary as well. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 19.

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