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Domestic abuse hotline lights up following death of Selena Thomas

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Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com

Domestic abuse hotline lights up following death of Selena Thomas

By Tammy Scardino. CREATED Aug 22, 2014

The homicide investigation that those with the Nampa Police Department are leading continues to develop.

Missing 36-year-old Selena Thomas is presumed to be dead but the body pulled from the ground near a corn field in Melba Friday has not yet been positively identified. After being x-rayed, an autopsy will be performed on the body.

According to court documents, Thomas' boyfriend admitted to killing her during an argument. Alfredo Martinez, her live-in boyfriend, remains in jail on an unrelated charge.

The aftermath of Thomas’ death is far reaching following her mother's plea to anyone in an abusive relationship to get out.

The receptionist at the Women's and Children's Alliance in Boise was busy Friday.

There was a dramatic increase in calls to both the main line and the hotline overnight, according to WCA officials. Lori Moon, Thomas' mother, seems to have been successful in starting a community dialogue.

"It's something that, you know, we need to be talking about more because it's something that hurts even community's like Boise," said Erin Fenner, a former advocate.

As a former domestic violence awareness advocate, Fenner understands where victims of abuse are coming from.

"Those are very scary situations, and it's not an easy one to get out of," she said.

It can also be scary to approach someone you suspect might be in an abusive relationship.

Bottom-line, the victim is the one who has to come to terms with the situation they are in and walk away from it, which is an act far easier said than done.

"There's a sense of hope that is based on, 'I just want us to get along, I just want this to go away,'” said Jennifer Cochern, WCA clinical services manager. “The problem is that it doesn't go away, it's rather progressive and tends to get worse."

Cochern encourages women and men in a violent situation to recognize the warning signs of control and isolation early on and to get out before children are involved. She says even if they seem unaware, children are taking it all in.

"Most children believe, that's just normal, that's just how people treat each other,” Cochern said. “And, that's how it continues."

The WCA hotline is available 24-hours a day and is completely anonymous. The number is (208) 343-7025.

The Advocates Against Family Alliance is another resource that is based in Nampa.