'Call me ASAP': A daughter's chilling final message to her father

By Lindsey Bever

Julia Martin. Photo / Facebook
Julia Martin. Photo / Facebook

In her final moments, Julia Martin was frantically reaching out to loved ones for help.

The 28-year-old woman's ex-fiance stabbed her numerous times in her high-rise apartment on the South Side of Chicago before he jumped from a window and suffered fatal injuries, according to relatives and police.

"Call me ASAP," Martin wrote to her father in the midst of the deadly attack, according to the Chicago Tribune.

"Not only did she call me, she texted me while she was going through all this," Derrick Martin told the newspaper. "She was calling everybody, saying that she wanted help.

"She called another friend and she was panting over the phone, trying to get her breath. He thought it was a prank and he hung up on her. He feels so bad."

In a way, Derrick Martin told WGN, "I'm glad I didn't get that call," because he was 480km away and would not have been able to get to his daughter in time.

She would be dead later that night.

Police called the case a domestic murder-suicide in which 35-year-old Rodney Alan Harvey went to the apartment and repeatedly stabbed Martin before jumping from a window. Both were rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

Cook County Medical Examiner's Office spokeswoman Becky Schlikerman said the coroner determined that Martin died from "multiple sharp force injuries" and ruled her death a homicide. Schlikerman said Harvey suffered a cervical fracture and dislocation due to the jump; his death was ruled a suicide.

Martin's father told the Chicago Tribune that his daughter had broken up with her fiance about six months ago and had recently said she was starting to date again.

Harvey went to Martin's apartment to collect an engagement ring he had given her, Derrick Martin told the newspaper.

"She never went into that much detail about how bad it was; she was just telling me that they had broke it off and that she was planning on giving the ring back," Derrick Martin said.

He added: "There was no indication he was dangerous. . . . I never would've thought that in a million years."

Nick Harvey told the Tribune that his brother had battled mental health issues, including depression; still, he said, he could have never imagined what was to come.

"My brother has had lifelong issues with diagnosed mental health problems," Nick Harvey said. "My mother has devoted so much of her life to trying to make sure he was happy."

He told the newspaper he was just as shocked as Martin's father.

"How her dad said he wouldn't have seen this coming? It's true," Harvey said. "There wasn't any indication that there was any domestic abuse. I'm not naive, I know a lot of times you don't see it if it's behind closed doors, but I know my brother, he's just not a violent person. I truly believe that was an isolated incident."

He added: "We feel awful about what happened."

Martin, from Detroit, had studied at Michigan State University and was working as a human-resources supervisor at an architecture firm in Chicago, according to the Tribune.

"She was strictly into her career, always striving for greatness," her father told the newspaper. "She was never satisfied being stuck in one position, she always tried to get higher and higher and higher."

Another family member, Dez Martin, took to Facebook, writing: "Its Crazy I Even Have To Say This About My Baby. But R.I.P. Big Sister Julia Martin."

He later posted a photo showing Julia Martin with a man.

"Happy Looking Couple Right?" Dez Martin wrote. "Everytime I Saw Dude He Was Very Respectful And Calm Towards ME. I Dont Know About Everyone Else's Encounters With Him. Never Gave Me Speculations Of Harmfulness. But Its Always The Quiet Ones Thats Most Dangerous. Things Didnt Work Out Because Of HIS Decision Making And She Was Moving On."

"Ladies Be Careful Who You Give Your All To," he wrote.

Harvey, from Chicago, worked as a personal trainer and had a teenage daughter, according to the Tribune.

Harvey's mother has set up a GoFundMe page to help with his funeral expenses; by today it had raised more than US$6300.

"He loved me, his mum, but was sometimes deeply troubled," she wrote. "You never expect someone you love to die so young. I saw my son, Rodney, just last week and he hugged me so tight I almost couldn't breathe. I didn't break the hug. 'I love you, Mom' he said. I hope I was always there for him."

Harvey's brother told the Tribune that the family has been criticized for the crowdfunding campaign, but he explained that it was intended only for those who knew Harvey and were close to him.

Relatives also said that they hoped his death would raise awareness about mental health issues, and that they plan to give a portion of the donations to charities for mental health, domestic violence and suicide prevention.

- Washington Post

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