CHICAGO (CBS) — For the first time, we’re hearing from the family of Ja’nya Murphy. The 21-year-old was found strangled in her Wheeling apartment. Two days later, a construction crew found her 1-year-old daughter’s body, in a Hammond retention pond.
On Wednesday, Ja’nya’s grandmother and cousin spoke only to CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot and provide new details about Ja’nya’s relationship with her accused killer.READ MORE: Chicago Police Officer Shot, Wounded In Calumet Heights
They both said, in February Murphy had broken up with Ahmeel Fowler, the man accused of killing her. They say Murphy broke up with Fowler in February, but then started seeing him again.
Her family believes she was murdered because he was jealous.
Ja’nya Murphy’s grandmother describes her as a loving, kind, and gentle person, who would help anyone in need.
“She was very smart, you know, very intelligent young lady that believed everybody in the world was good. That nobody would hurt her, so she had no fear of people.”
Ja’nya’s grandmother, Linda Murphy, says Ja’nya started dating Ahmeel Fowler in January of this year. In February the two were out and Ja’nya, ran into a male high school friend.
“And she stopped to talk to him and afterwards, I understand this man became enraged and he choked her and so she broke up with him at that time, so I don’t know how they reconnected,” she said.
Murphy says her granddaughter and great granddaughter spent the day with Fowler last Monday. They had gone shopping. Ja’nya told family members about buying winter clothing for her 1-year-old daughter, Jaclyn “Angel” Dobbs. She says Angel meant the world to Ja’nya.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Abel Osundairo, One Of Two Brothers Who Said He Was Paid To Help Stage Attack, Says Smollett 'Wanted Me To Fake Beat Him Up'
“She was happy, she was laughing. She was excited about what she had bought,” Murphy said.
After Fowler brought her home, Murphy says a male co-worker called, to speak to Ja’nya.
“We believe after that conversation and him knowing she was talking to a male, that’s when he killed her. He strangled her.”
Two days after Ja’nya was found dead in her Wheeling apartment, her daughter Angel’s body was discovered, in a Hammond retention pond.
“It’s unthinkable. It’s unthinkable and when the police did catch him, he still had her car seat in the van. It’s, It’s beyond me,” Murphy said.
Both Ja’nya’s grandmother and cousin, Darrell Glover Sr., are pastors. They’re using their platforms to empower young women who may be facing what Ja’nya was going through. This is the second family member they’ve lost to domestic violence.
“Some women, they’re afraid to speak out, but the power of prayer, is what we’ll be doing. Trusting and believing God. He’s going to do exceedingly and abundantly above more than we can ask or think,” Glover said.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Partly Cloudy And Breezy Overnight
Fowler has been charged with Ja’nya’s murder. The family has set up an account for donations to help cover the unexpected cost of funerals for Ja’nya and 1-year-old daughter Angel.