KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The smile emanating from a photo of 17-year-old Amauri Hughes is no more after she was found dead on Sunday in Grandview, Missouri.
Court documents show she died a horrific death as police found her with cuts, bruises, broken teeth, stab wounds, and a gunshot wound.
Nineteen-year-old Tyheem Anderson is now in jail and charged with kidnapping, assault, and armed criminal action. Anderson told police he’d been in a relationship with Hughes for three years.
“We tend to hang onto the good,” said Carolynn Washington who works at Friends of Yates, a domestic violence shelter in Kansas City, Kansas.
She said many teenagers do not realize they’re in an unhealthy relationship because it is often their first.
“The thing about the youth is, if they haven’t been exposed to a healthy relationship, or this is sometimes their first relationship and they want to please,” Washington said.
The latest data from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence shows physical violence is more common than people realize.
A third of women and a quarter of men report physical violence by a partner. That can include behavior sometimes not considered domestic violence under the law, like pushing or shoving. One in seven women report being injured by a partner.
Additional data from Youth.gov shows 22% of 11-17-year-old’s reported abuse by a partner.
FOX4 didn’t talk about Hughes’ death during our discussion, but rather what domestic violence can look like in teenage relationships.
“Some of the tactics that are used include power and control. When you think about a teenager, some of the things we talk about are your boyfriend or girlfriend wants your phone, and they want to know everything you have in your phone, and they want to know your passcodes. They want to track your location,” Washington added.
A probable cause statement shows Anderson told police he’d gotten into an argument with Hughes regarding something he saw on her phone. He confronted her and threw her phone, causing it to break.
Washington said most teens will not tell a parent about abuse they’ve experienced because they might not understand something bad is happening or they’re not ready to leave the relationship.
For those in an abusive relationship, she had this message: “You’re not alone. Tell your mother and father. You do not deserve to be hit. You do not deserve to be talked to any type of way.”
Anderson is in jail being held without bond. He told police he did not kill Hughes. So far, he’s facing three charges, but the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office said more could come, like a murder charge.
If he’s convicted on the current charges and gets the maximum sentence, it could mean 60 years in prison.