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A friend of a Maine mom found dead in her basement this week said the woman’s boyfriend used to threaten her with a chilling warning about her impending demise.
“She told us that his big thing is ‘Tick tock, your time is coming,” Melissa Sousa’s coworker Tami Tims told local station WGME. “He’s said he was gonna kill her. ‘I have two choices. It’s kill you or kill you,’ It was just his way of controlling her.”
Sousa’s boyfriend Nicholas Lovejoy is now facing murder charges after her dead body was discovered Wednesday afternoon in the basement of the home the couple shared with their 8-year-old twin daughters, WCSH reports.
Sousa had been reported missing by her friends Tuesday night. She was last seen earlier that day putting her daughters onto the school bus near the family’s duplex around 8:30 a.m., according to NECN.
Those who knew Sousa said the young mom had feared for her life before she died and described the relationship between her and Lovejoy as abusive.
“The last few months he really escalated, because I think he sensed that she had had enough. She wanted to leave. And I think that’s why he was escalating the power,” Tims told WGME.
Tims said Sousa’s coworkers had tried to get her help—even calling a violence hotline but were told if Sousa was too scared to report the abuse ,there wouldn’t be much the police would be able to do without witnessing the violence firsthand.
“He would say, ‘You call the cops and you won’t be alive when they get here,’” Tims said.
Lovejoy was taken into custody on unrelated charges Tuesday night after Waterville police pulled his SUV over around midnight and discovered a loaded rifle in the car. They also charged Lovejoy with endangering the welfare of a child because he had left the twins alone at his home.
During a search of the couple’s home on Wednesday, investigators discovered a body in the basement that was later identified as Sousa’s.
Lovejoy is being held at the Kennebec County Jail; the murder charge was added to the other allegations against him.
Those who knew Sousa have been devastated by her loss.
"I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry for their loss. She was amazing. And I feel bad for those little girls. Melissa was everything, everything to them,” Tims said. "Melissa didn't deserve this. Her daughters didn't deserve this. And he deserves not to see the light of day. Period."
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