CLEVELAND (WJW)-- It’s been a long year for Annie Zaleski of Lakewood.
“It was shocking. It was hard to comprehend,” Zaleski said.
One year ago, Annie’s closest friend, 30-year-old Nikki Delamotte, was shot and killed by her uncle in an apparent murder-suicide.
“One day you are talking to a friend and texting, the next day she is gone. It was extremely difficult,” Zaleski said.
A motive is still unknown and Nikki’s family and friends live with unanswered questions.
“It is so incredibly sad and heartbreaking. She was such a vibrant person and brought so much vibrancy to Cleveland. To have that light extinguished was shocking,” Zaleski said.
Nikki was a reporter for Cleveland.com and often covered the arts scene.
Annie fondly remembers her love for cats and her laugh.
“I think of her being joyful, but I think of her work ethic. She cared about her friends, her writing, her job, she cared about Cleveland,” Zaleski said.
Her memory lives on in a teen journalism program at Lake Erie Ink, a nonprofit Nikki loved dearly.
“It is mentoring them, teaching them the tricks of the trade, helping them shape stories. Nikki would have loved that, she loved mentoring students. She would have been so proud of that, that’s an amazing legacy of hers,” Zaleski said.