Friends of woman in murder-suicide focus on her daughter, 7
GREER, S.C. (AP) — Angela Giacometti and her daughter, Nora, did everything together.
But the 7-year-old no longer has her mother to take care of her after Giacometti was killed in a Greer townhouse.
Now Giacometti’s family and friends are finding ways to support the 7-year-old girl who is being cared for by her father.
“We are now all of her aunts and uncles. We plan to come into town and take her to the park and that kind of stuff,” said Justin Farrow, a longtime friend who met Giacometti in college. She attended Charleston Southern while he went to the College of Charleston, he said.
Farrow said a private group of about 70 people who cared about Giacometti have formed a private Facebook group to share memories, photos and videos of Giacometti to one day turn over to Nora.
“Our secret group is going to function as a time capsule for Nora, her daughter,” he said. “She’s a spitting image of her mom. She’ll have all these things to remember her mom by.”
A GoFundMe fundraiser called “One Love For Angela” was also created to raise money that Farrow said will go into a trust fund for the girl. That fundraiser had raised more than $4,000 by Wednesday afternoon.
Officers went to a townhouse on Spring Crossing Circle for reported gunshots around 5:15 a.m. Sept. 12. Greer Police Department’s emergency response team removed two people from the home before entering and finding Giacometti, 42, of Greer, dead with a wound to the head. Also inside the home was 32-year-old Adam Ratje, who was also dead with a wound to the head.
Giacometti’s death was ruled a homicide and the death of Ratje was ruled a suicide, said Greenville County Deputy Coroner Jeff Fowler.
Farrow said Nora was inside the home at the time of the shooting.
“She was unfortunately in the house when this happened. She didn’t see anything or hear anything. She was carried out before they found Angela,” Farrow said. “Apparently, she is with her dad, happy at home but probably confused.”
Police have not released a motive in the homicide-suicide. Autopsies for both Giacometti and Ratje were done on Sept. 13, Fowler said.
Farrow said Giacometti was dating Ratje, but he didn’t think they were together for very long. Giacometti didn’t talk about him much, he said.
To Giacometti’s friends, she was the life of the party, always thinking of others and expressing her creative side as an artist. She was primarily a painter but also did photography.
“She was not afraid to ever branch into any kind of art,” Farrow said.
Some people called her quirky, but Farrow said he preferred the term “colorful.”
“She had three times more energy than anybody else. She was always the first on the dance floor and the last one to leave,” he said.
The killings took place at Ratje’s home, according to the Coroner’s Office.
Ratje was a Bob Jones University graduate who attended the school from 2005 to 2009, according to Courtney Montgomery, a spokeswoman for the Greenville-based school. He received an associate of applied science in business management in 2008 and a bachelor of arts in practical Christian Training in 2009.
Ratje had been working at the Greenville Health System for less than a year as an associate software developer, according to GHS spokeswoman Sandy Dees. He also previously worked for BJU, Montgomery said.
Ratje’s father also works for BJU, but declined to speak.
“His family has requested privacy at this time,” Montgomery said.
A separate GoFundMe fundraiser was also set up for Ratje. His fundraiser had raised more than $5,400 by Wednesday afternoon to go toward funeral expenses, according to the website.
Attempts to reach relatives or friends of Ratje were not immediately successful.
“We are immensely overwhelmed with the amount of grace and love you all have shared to our family during this difficult time,” brother Chad Ratjewrote on the GoFundMe page. “We know God is always present, but in times like these through all of the support we can feel He is even closer. We know we are loved, and we want you to know we love every one of you.”
The deaths are still under investigation by the Coroner’s Office and the Greer Police Department.
Information from: The Greenville News, http://www.greenvillenews.com