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Murdered woman was living in fear, neighbors say

In the days leading up to her brutal murder, Heavenly Terveus reportedly received several threats from her alleged slayer, according to her sister and neighbors, who said yesterday that not enough was done to prevent her death.

Terveus, who had given birth to her son just over a month ago, was allegedly shot by her boyfriend on Saturday evening. Police said her boyfriend also attempted to kill himself but was unsuccessful.

Catathesia Newton, who was Terveus’ neighbor for roughly 18 to 20 years, described her as a wonderful child, but she said Terveus was like a different person in recent weeks.

“I knew her from she was about three or four and she never been a troublesome child,” Newton said.

“She always been quiet, humble. She lived her name. She was heavenly in all aspects. She wasn’t rude. She wasn’t arrogant and obnoxious, none of that.

“…And these last few weeks, she was just different. She stayed locked in the house. She was afraid. She wouldn’t come out. On Tuesday when she reached out for help, it was too late.”

Asked if enough was done to prevent Terveus’ death, Newton said, “No.”

“On Monday night, when he came here and break up the car, they could have arrested him,” she said.

“On Tuesday morning when he came and take the baby, why didn’t they arrest him?”

Newton said that after learning of what had happened, she tried to tell Terveus’ boyfriend to stay away.

“We tried by telling [him] he can’t come around here anymore threatening her and stuff,” she said.

Tania Pierre, another neighbor, added, “The police didn’t take it as seriously as we did.

“…For the last two weeks, she came here to her mom. She knew that, yes, he provided everything for her, but she wanted to be safe. She wanted a better life for her child. She came home for help and we tried.”

Denise Terveus, Heavenly Terveus’ sister, said her sister’s boyfriend should have still been in jail, after an incident last year.

“Why was he out on bail in the first place?” Denise Terveus said.

“After the first incident, when it was attempted murder against me and another individual, they let him out on bail.

“So, I was trying to figure out why he was even out. I wasn’t even contacted that he was out. You understand? So, this whole situation could have been avoided had they done their jobs properly.”

Asked if she believes the system failed her, Terveus said, “Yes, yes, yes. The system has failed me. It has failed our whole family.”

“There was a time that I came to her rescue last year…April 4th, I went to rescue her and upon me getting there, he shot at me and another individual for I guess being on his property.

“And I went to the police station…they locked him up and everything. And he wasn’t there for two weeks…and the next thing I know, he was out on bail.

“And the day after that, he proposed to my sister.”

Pierre said she can only try to be there for Terveus’ one-month-old son.

“She was her mom’s only child,” she said.

“She was sheltered up until she got into a relationship with him and he became her life. She cut off everyone. She was isolated.

“So, I’m just sad that the ending part of her life she was tormented greatly and she wasn’t at peace.

“We, as a community, we just want to stick together and help raise her child as best as we can, as a community.

“She was a very sweet girl. So, all of the negativity that I see towards her, you guys don’t know her. She was a gem.”

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Rachel Scott

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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