OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) More than a year after the death of Erica Owen, an Owensboro woman who was killed at her home, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend, her family is preserving her legacy.
They’re placing benches honoring her across the city.
“It’s a beautiful bench for a beautiful girl,” says Lisa Greer, Erica’s mother.
It’s made from plastic bottle caps, and weighs about 275 pounds.
“I think they look great. Very pleased with the outcome,” Greer says.
“It is a comfortable bench,” adds Martina Billings, Erica’s Aunt. But it’s more than a bench.
“It’s also very healing for us in our efforts to keep her name alive and keep everybody aware of domestic violence and its issues,” says Greer.
The purple benches were placed across the city, including at Oasis Women’s Shelter, across from the RiverPark Center and at four Daviess County Public Schools, to honor Owen’s life and raise awareness of domestic violence.
“For us to recognize and remember a victim who did not have the opportunity for a safe resolve, helps us all reflect that we need to continue this work and continue to support the victims,” says Andrea Robinson of Oasis.
To make a bench, It took more than 200 pounds of plastic bottle caps. Billings, says they planned to have ten made, but so many caps were donated, more will be built.
“I would be stopping at homes, stopping at schools, and stopping at WBKR. It went from a few bags, to a Ziploc bag that somebody donated to me to garbage bags full,'” Billings recalled.
Greer and Billings say Owen’s spirit is with them during the process and as they sit on these benches.
“When I think of my daughter, I have happy thoughts. Everything about her was happy. She was spunky. She was bright. She was smart, enthusiastic,” Greer says, recalling what Erica was like.
“You can feel the spirit. You can feel Erica in the whole process, I felt like Erica was helping direct,” Billings adds.
Family members also says they hope to put more benches around Owensboro later this year.
(This story was originally published on July 24, 2019)