MANSFIELD, Ohio – Ernestine Williams continues to rely on her deep faith for the words she will use one day to explain to her grandson, Kylo, why he will grow up without his mother.
Skylar Williams, 20, was abducted from a parking lot on the Ohio State University satellite campus in Mansfield on Feb. 11, forced into a car at gunpoint by Ty’Rell Pounds, the father of her son.
Pounds then drove to Kentucky, where he shot Skylar in the car. Then, Kentucky State Police shot and killed Pounds.
Before carrying out his plan, Pounds posted a note on social media apologizing to their son that he would grow up without his parents.
On Monday, Ernestine Williams shared her family’s loss with FOX 8 hoping, in part, to help other young women, who are the victim of domestic violence, to have the courage to fight back.
“She was a beautiful girl. She was a beautiful baby. She was independent. She had her own mind,” Williams said.
“She was just gentle. She was kind. She always had a smile on her face. Wherever we went, she was speaking to everybody in the room. She was just a beautiful person… And she was a great mother to her son.
“I know she would want to be here to raise her son, but you know God knew. It didn’t take Him by surprise what happened,” Williams said.
She said her daughter opened up about being assaulted by Pounds.
“He was raping my baby. He raped her in my house. He raped her in my driveway. He raped her at the campus,” Williams said.
Skylar’s sister, Alexis Williams, said Skylar did not say anything about the incidents until this past October, telling her family that she wanted to “protect” Pounds.
But after early October, Skylar did file a rape report with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office and intended to break off her relationship with Pounds.
“She really didn’t want to have nothing else to do with him, but he was constantly coming back, begging her, pleading with her to get back with him,” Alexis said.
Ernestine Williams said after it seemed nothing was being done with the report, both of her daughters went directly to the Richland County Prosecutor’s Office for help. They then also filed the reports with the Mansfield Police Department.
Her mother said Skyar confessed that even when she was staying with Pounds, he was rarely there.
“From Skylar’s words, when she was there with Kylo staying with Ty’Rell, he was never there. He was never home, he wasn’t interested… He was out with his best friend,” Ernestine Williams said.
On the morning she was abducted, Skylar had an appointment with rape counselor at the Mansfield campus of Ohio State.
After the abduction, the detective from the Richland County Sheriff’s Office who was investigating the rape came to the house and revealed that rape charges against Pounds were being filed that same day.
Ernestine Williams said the detective also admitted telling Pounds himself about the charges.
The Williams family said it believes that was the catalyst that pushed Pounds, who wanted to become a state trooper, over the edge because he knew with a criminal record he could not work in law enforcement.
“Why would you tell him? He wasn’t raped. Why would you tell him? The perpetrator, that the papers were going to the prosecutor’s office that day and we didn’t even know?” Ernestine Williams said.
“He’s in the police academy. He knows the law. He knows what was going to happen. You see, he had on a bulletproof vest. He had on a bulletproof vest as he was taking my baby to Kentucky.”
Alexis Williams said after the note Pounds wrote on social media was shared with her, she immediately knew it was a suicide note. But she still prayed for her sister’s safe return
“I just read the first sentence, the first two sentences. I can’t think what it was about, but I knew it was a suicide note. And then I scrolled down and saw he had a picture collage of him, and I knew right then that this was a note goodbye,” Alexis Williams said.
“All I could do was to look out the window and ask God to please bring my sister home. I was asking God to please give my sister the strength to fight back because I know my sister, she wasn’t the fighter. She wasn’t the type to fight, but that’s what I was praying to God. I was like, ‘Please give my sister the strength to do whatever she needed to do to get away from this man.'”
Confirmation of Skylar’s death was made in a phone call to Kentucky State Police in the early hours of Feb. 13.
“He was determined to kill my baby. He would have came here and killed everybody in the house if he didn’t get her on campus. He was determined to do what he did,” Ernestine Williams said.
Skylar’s family said it wants to openly thank the many people who helped try to return Slylar home safely. That includes the good Samaritan at the college who tried to help while Skylar was being abducted and the man in Kentucky who contacted authorities after he witnessed Skylar mouth the words, “Help me.”
“I believe my baby’s legacy will be to bring awareness to domestic violence, to bring awareness to the laws need to be changed, to bring awareness that there are millions of young women suffering in silence afraid to say something, embarrassed to say something. They shouldn’t be they shouldn’t be.”
“I hope it screams, ‘Hey, look what happened to me!’ This shouldn’t keep happening. Somebody should do something. That’s what I pray it’s about. That’s what I pray her legacy is for,” Ernestine Williams said.