KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Her proud dad and step-mom beam with joy when they remember Shenia Davis.
"She was very special. She loved to dance. She was my baby girl," Howard Davis said.
"Shenia was a sweetheart. She never met a stranger and she had a heart of gold," Kathy Davis said.
Shenia Davis was 35 years old. She worked in housekeeping at the University of Kansas Health System, and she was inseparable from her only child, her little girl.
"She loved her daughter unconditionally. You never saw her without her daughter. She would love to take her daughter to the zoo and out of town," Kathy Davis said.
But Kathy tells FOX4 she never would have imagined something so terrible and dark would happen to such a beacon of light. She went to Shenia's apartment to check on her on May 7, 2018.
"I got there to the apartment complex where she lived with her boyfriend and no one knew anything," Kathy said.
She said she got a phone call and learned that Shenia was undergoing surgery and in critical condition. The young mom was allegedly viciously beaten by her 29-year-old boyfriend, Cory Harris.
Shenia's then 7-year-old daughter told detectives she saw Harris hit her mom with a bottle several times, pull her hair, repeatedly punch her in the face and hit her with a refrigerator door, court documents say.
"My granddaughter said when my daughter went to bend down to pick up this broken glass that Harris kicked her like a football," Kathy said, fighting back tears.
According to court documents, officers said when they arrived to the couple's apartment that afternoon Shenia was "unresponsive and paralyzed from the neck down."
"She couldn't talk. She was just a shell. She could only blink her eyes. This was the first time that we found out about it. We didn't know that she had been in a domestic violent relationship," Kathy said.
Shenia spent months at Truman Medical Center before she was transferred to a Columbia hospital and eventually a rehab center in Iowa.
"One day she moved her arms and that gave us a glimmer of hope," Kathy said. "We started telling her she would come home one day. We thought maybe she would be in a wheelchair, so we started making preparations to remodel our home and turn our living room into her bedroom. However, all of a sudden, she stopped eating. Her health quickly fail and I just think she got tired."
"I went into her room in Iowa and, man, I couldn't believe it. She lost so much weight. She was just skin and bones. It tore me up," her dad said. "I couldn't stand to see my daughter like that and so I told the doctors to take her off a ventilator. Shenia died more than a week ago on Valentine's Day."
Now, as for the suspect, Cory Harris?
"We are meeting with the prosecutors soon, and I will tell them that I think he should be charged with first-degree murder. I don't want him to walk, skate, no manslaughter or anything," Howard Davis said.
Harris is currently charged with first- and second-degree domestic assault. He's being held in the Jackson County jail on a $100,000 bond.
"Not only did he destroy my daughter's life, but he also destroyed my granddaughter's life because she lost her mother," Kathy said. "I just don't want no other parent to go through what we went through. We wear a strong persona and try to be strong for my grand-baby, but this is very hard."
Shenia Davis' funeral will be held on Saturday. Her daughter is undergoing counseling.
In the meantime, help is available for victims of domestic violence. If that's you or someone you know, call 816-HOTLINE.