Sister of Grandview homicide victim suspects abusive relationship played a role in her death

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GRANDVIEW, Mo. -- Police found the body of a 27-year-old woman burned and left by a dumpster Sunday night. The family of Lynette Williams said they're still trying to come to terms with what happened.

Family members said they knew she was a victim of domestic violence but never thought it was this bad.

FOX 4's Shannon O'Brien spoke to Lynnette's sister, Nina, at the Arbors of Grandview apartment complex to learn more about the young woman taken far too soon.

Her sister said she woke up Monday morning, flipped on the TV and heard that the body of a 27-year-old woman was found there. It didn't even occur to her that it could be here sister until she saw a post on Facebook that said, 'Rest in heaven.'

"And I said, 'Rest in heaven?'" Nina recalled.

Nina said even then she thought there was a mistake, that her sister Lynnette could not be the woman whose body was found burned near a dumpster at the Arbors of Grandview.

She and her fiancé jumped in the car and raced to her sister's apartment.

"I just broke down when I seen crime scene investigation and police and her stairs taped off, and at that point, I just kind of -- I knew it. I knew it, that it was her," she said. "My sister was the only sister I had. It's all I had, you know, and that's it. That's all I have."

Nina said she and Lynnette didn't have the easiest childhood, but always knew they had each other. Nina watched out for her little sister, the two sharing all of life's hardships and joys.

"She called me the morning of her graduation and said, 'Sister, today is the day I am graduating.' You know, we had been through a lot as children so to see her walk across the stage, like I say, I felt like that was my child," Nina said. "I am very proud of her for who she is, the person that she is, the heart that she's had. I am very proud of her."

Lynnette worked at a job she loved for six years and was excited to become a mom for the first time just four months ago. But Nina said Lynnette was concerned that her son's dad was verbally abusive.

"I tried to tell her, 'If you feel this way, you are too beautiful, you are too sweet, you have so much going for yourself. You don't deserve this."

Lynnette was going to leave, Nina said, but didn't make it. It's a burden that weighs on a big sister who still wants to find a way to make everything OK.

"Just by her reaching out and telling me the few things that she was going through -- I am sorry," Nina said. "I should have listened a little bit more. I should have tried a little bit harder to get her away or to tell her that she didn't deserve it. I don't know, you know. I am sorry but I love you and that's all I can say."

Police said one person is in custody but has not yet been charged with a crime.