RICHMOND Va. (WRIC) — This veterans day will always stick with friends and family of Christina Cunningham.
On Sunday night, police say she was stabbed to death near south Vine and West Cary streets by her boyfriend, according to investigators. 26-year-old Cunningham was a U.S. Army veteran.
Police say Cunningham’s boyfriend of about a year, Maury Williams, is charged with her murder.
Her family made it clear that they don’t want Cunningham to be remembered by what happened to her — instead, they cherish her lasting impact on others.
“She was determined to make everybody around her happy,” said Kimberly Johnson, her mother. “She always found the glass over full, not half full. It was always over full for everybody else.”
Her mother, who lives in Fredericksburg, tells 8News dozens of hearts are breaking. “There’s no excuse to do what he did to my baby,” she said.
She said the murder happened inside the couple’s home, where she heard problems had been stirring. “We love her and in spite [despite] what he told her, she was loved, she was beautiful,” she said.
Richmond police said that night, they responded to a call of a man having a “psychotic episode” outside the home. That’s where they found Williams, who directed them inside.
“I want people to know not to be angry at Maury’s family,” she said. “I would not want Maury’s family to be defined by what he did.”
According to her friends, Cunningham served nearly five years in the U.S. Army at Fort Hood in Texas. After that, her friends say she became a champion for women.
“She just wanted everyone to truly love themselves, love their bodies, to do better for themselves, especially for women,” a fellow Fort Hood veteran, Carlie Green, told 8News Wednesday.
“She loved everybody. It didn’t matter what you looked like, what you wore, where you lived, what car you drove, none of that matter. She just loved every single person individually for who they were.”
“I want Chrissy to know that we will not stop fighting ’til she does get justice,” Johnson said.
The mother told 8News that investigators are beginning to believe the murder could have been “premeditated” or planned. Williams, the alleged murderer, already has a violent criminal record.
A celebration of life for Cunningham was held Saturday in Fredericksburg.
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