TACOMA, Wash. – Friends of a woman stabbed to death over the weekend say the system failed after her request for a protection order against her ex-boyfriend was denied. Now, that man is charged with her murder.
Georgia Gunzer, 33, was stabbed to death late Friday night in her apartment. She wasn't alone. There were five girls, age 10, there for a slumber party. The girls found Gunzer's body Saturday morning.
"(Georgia's daughter) screamed and all the little girls came running into the room," said friend Rachel Riddley.
"My daughter's been crying all weekend since it happened," said another parent.
Friends say Gunzer knew her ex-boyfriend and father of her child, Alphonso Bell, was about to get out of prison. She told friends that he hit her and threatened her. That's why she had requested the protection order.
Gunzer worked at Sound Family Medicine and her fear of Bell was no secret to co-workers.
"She was very much afraid of this man. He had hurt her before. He was harassing her before he got out of jail. But, yet, he was the father of her daughter," said co-worker Cynde Marckmann.
Friends say the restraining order, although just a piece of paper, could have given her some legal protection.
"I think the system failed her and I think the system is broken," said Marckmann.
Police say Gunzer brought Bell back to her house on Friday night. Gunzer's friends say that without the protection order, she felt she had to be nice to Bell, which might explain why they were together.
Bell's friends say Gunzer came to visit Bell in prison and they had talked about reconciling.
Bell pleaded not guilty. He is being held on $2 million bail.
There has been no response yet from the judge who denied Gunzer's protection order.