Family Identifies Daughter as Victim in Teen Murder-Suicide: 'You Just Can’t Even Fathom It,' Mother Says

Serenity Hawley
Serenity Hawley was shot to death just days before her 18th birthday, her family said.GoFundMe

The devastated parents of Serenity Hawley, 17, have identified her as the victim of a murder-suicide committed by her high school ex-boyfriend.

A shattered Virginia family has identified their teenage daughter as the victim of a murder-suicide carried out by her ex-boyfriend. Both were high school students, the relatives said.

Serenity Hawley was just days from her 18th birthday when she was shot Tuesday afternoon in the chest, her parents said. Her body was found in the driver's seat of her car, in a Blacksburg parking garage, said her mother, Heather Waldron,

On the passenger side was the body of her ex-boyfriend, Waldron said.

"To hear that your child, in that manner, is deceased, you just can’t even fathom it," the mother told WDBJ-TV on Thursday, which should have been Serenity's birthday. "It just was unbelievable. It’s so surreal,” she said. 

Blacksburg police released few details about the incident, except to say two teenagers were found dead inside a car in a parking garage. The incident is still under investigation, authorities said. A weapon was also found inside the vehicle, police said.

But Serenity's parents and her friends identified her as the murder victim in a series of local interviews and social media postings. A GoFundMe account established to help with burial costs said, "To have known Serenity was to have known love and kindness. She emitted it everywhere she went and left no one untouched."

Serenity's father, John Hawley, said she planned to go to North Carolina with her older sister to the Virginia Tech women’s basketball game.

“She was so excited about that. She sent me a text. Her sister was driving down" from Ohio, he told the station. "They had floor tickets. They were so excited. That’s how she was going to spend her birthday,” the father said.

“She was our angel here on Earth. I mean, she’s left behind four siblings who thought the world of her.

"She’s going to be missed. She’ll be missed every day,” Hawley said.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Waldron said her daughter died in a domestic violence attack.

“The biggest thing is to watch those signs. Don’t think that this is just something you see on TV. This is something that in real life can happen to your child in the blink of an eye. And you just don’t realize," Waldron said. "She never thought this would happen. We never thought,” the mother said. 

Inside Edition Digital reached out for comment to the Blacksburg Police Department, but has not heard back.

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