Woman killed in domestic violence case remembered as a friend to all

Woman killed in domestic violence case remembered as a friend to all
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 5:37 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Heather Grant’s family describes her as a ‘ball of love.’

As a mom, daughter, sister and friend, they said she left an impact on everyone she met in the Wilmington community and beyond. They said even for those who didn’t know her, her kindness and caring nature made her a friend to all.

Now, her family is mourning her loss in what police are calling an act of domestic violence. Police believe Grant was murdered by her boyfriend, Ashford Jones, before he turned the gun on himself. The two were found in their home off Horn Road in Wilmington on Wednesday.

“She wanted to save everybody,” her best friend, Amber Gough, said. “I think to the moment she left us, that’s what she thought she was doing.”

Grant grew up in Wilmington and attended Hoggard High School. Her world revolved around her children, ages 9 and 5, her family said. She was a friend to everyone she met, from customers at Food Lion where she worked to people she met while out with friends.

She also dreamed of someday becoming a first responder.

“Everything she did, she never asked for anything in return,” her brother Sean Spear said. “She did everything because she wanted to. Not because she had to or anything else like that, because she physically wanted to just to give somebody a little bit more easy of a time.”

Spear said growing up, his younger sister was one of his best friends. He described her as a tomboy and said she went everywhere with him. As they grew older, he said she was his biggest supporter through the toughest moments of his life.

He said she was a “beacon of light” in a dark world, and he’ll miss her “bear hugs” most of all.

“She was my biggest supporter. I love her to death,” he said. “All I want to do is just hold her and tell her, ‘I got you, sis.’ But I can’t.”

Now, they’re speaking out in hopes of continuing her legacy of helping those in need. As they pick up the pieces, her family said justice for Heather means sharing her story to help others who may be impacted by domestic violence.

“If this helps anyone, that would be great, because this smiling face that everyone is seeing on her Facebook, that’s what domestic violence looks like,” Gough said. It’s not black eyes and bruises. It’s smiles you’re hiding behind. It’s long shirts over your arms because you don’t want people to see things. It’s talking somebody up to be the best person in the world when we already know that he’s not.”

A GoFundMe was started shortly after Grant’s death and garnered more than $16,000 in one day. Those donations will help fund funeral expenses and set up a trust fund for her daughters.

Anyone in need of help can contact Domestic Violence Shelter and Services at its 24-hour crisis hotline, 910-343-0703.