Murder victim’s family requests donations for domestic violence shelter

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Family and friends spent their rainy Sunday afternoon in a church to remember a young mother murdered last month.

"I'm going to get through this and I'm doing this for Tonya," said Susan Amerson.

Her 27-year-old daughter, Tonya Lynn Amerson, was found dead behind a Jones Valley shopping center.  Tonya's boyfriend is charged with murder.  Now, Susan Amerson gathers loved ones to remember the daughter she lost.

"We're having a memorial service not a funeral," explained Susan Amerson. "A celebration of life, to celebrate the good times."

The family has a GoFundMe and a Redstone Federal Credit Union Fund, and asks for more donations, but not for themselves.

"We're asking the public to donate a toy or make a momentary donations which will be taken to Hope Place, the local domestic violence shelter here in Huntsville.

She says her daughter lost her life to domestic violence. She wants to make sure her daughter's death won't be in vain, but a blessing to someone else.

"Let's put it back out there so someone less fortunate or someone that needs it can benefit from it. That's what [Tonya] would do," said Amerson.

Tonya's boyfriend, 41-year-old William Lewis Payton, is charged with murder. The three children they had together are in the care of his family while Susan holds onto her daughter's cremated remains.