‘The pain is incredibly unbearable’: Sister of Mississauga’s latest murder victim speaks out – TorontoCanadian Story
Natalie Lewandowski wipes a tear from her eye as she looks at pictures of her sister, Alicia.
“Oh, I love this one. It was a tattoo she got that said ‘live the life you love and love the live you live’,” adding it’s a mantra the 25-year-old lived by.
“She was so beautiful not just on the outside but on the inside.”
On Monday, Alicia was found shot and killed outside her home near Dixie and Rathburn roads in what police are calling a case of domestic violence.
Her 39-year-old boyfriend, Joseph Chang, was arrested later that night after a brief manhunt. He has been charged first-degree murder in her death.
While fighting back tears, Natalie said the relationship Alicia had with Chang was “very unhealthy.”
“I can’t imagine what she felt or what she went through, how scared she was… the pain she felt in those moments,” she said.
Natalie said she spoke with her sister about the relationship many times.
“I never thought anything like this would ever happen. My sister didn’t die… she wasn’t sick… she was murdered.”
There have been five homicides in Peel Region this year, so far. Four, including Alicia’s death, have been cases of domestic violence.
Nina Gorka, the director of shelters, girls and family programs with the YWCA in Toronto, said while the conversations surrounding domestic violence are happening more and more, it is still difficult for survivors to speak out.
“In order for domestic violence deaths to be preventable, we need to see a real shift in how our current justice system works,” she said.
In Alicia’s case, police say there were no previous recorded domestic complaints against Chang.
On Wednesday, just two days after losing her sister, Natalie turned 32.
“For our birthdays we would always call each other at midnight and sing happy birthday… I’ll never get that call ever again.”
Heartbroken, Natalie said she hopes Alicia’s death will prompt a conversation that could potentially save a life.
“People think the person will change or it will get better, it doesn’t,” she said.
“I feel like a part of my heart is gone. I lost my best friend, my sister. That kind of bond is divine. I wouldn’t wish this kind of pain on my worst enemy.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to cover the cost of Alicia’s funeral. The family said any extra funds raised will go towards a women’s shelter or safe haven.
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