Some stories we just hate to report but, this one is an absolute miracle.
Last Tuesday morning Crystal Lashawn Clay, 34, was kidnapped from her home in Burlington by Renaldo Lemar Tate, 34. The two had been in a pretty lengthy relationship and share a 4-year-old son. When Clay broke things off with Tate he began acting strangely and it made her uneasy.
Her sister, Quencelyn Ellison, recalls going shopping with her sister and noticing that Tate's car seemed to appear every where they went. She says that Clay was increasingly "uneasy" around Tate and that she was "visibly afraid" of him.
Tate would also ride past Clay's house in Burlington and rev his engine or sit outside her house with music playing loud, Ellison said.
According to reports, on the day Tate kidnapped her, at around 3:47 a.m. Sept. 8, a woman called the Burlington Police Department to say her son threatened to hurt his girlfriend, according to a press release from the Carroll County (Virginia) Sheriff's Office. The release said the woman had been on the phone with her son when she heard a woman screaming in the background, so she hung up and called 911.
The Burlington police looked for Clay and Tate for hours but weren't able to locate either of them.
At about 6:45 a.m., the Carroll County Sheriff's Office received a call of a shooting at the intersection of Chance's Creek Road and Fancy Gap Highway. They arrived to find Clay with a gunshot wound in her face and "obvious signs of abduction," deputies said.
Clay was still conscious when first responders arrived and were able to give an account of what happened to her.
Witnesses told authorities that Clay and Tate were involved in an altercation beside the parked car when Tate pulled out a gun, shooting Clay and then himself. A bystander says that Clay asked them to call her mother and have her go to her home because her two young sons, ages 4 and 9, were left alone when she was abducted.
Tate died at the scene, and Clay was airlifted to the hospital, deputies said.
Hospital staff are calling Clay a "fighter" and we are calling her a miracle! So many women don't live to tell their story after something as horrible as this.
A GoFundMe has been set up for Crystal Clay and her children. If you would like to help them, please consider making a donation. We're sure they'd appreciate it.
If you, or someone you know, is in an abusive situation, please seek help. You can find out more information by clicking here.