Friends launched an effort Thursday to raise money to send the body of a murdered Charlotte woman back to her native Ethiopia.
Tigist Yemane, 23, had moved to Charlotte for a second chance at life, but was killed last Saturday.
A fund was opened at First Citizens Bank at 128 South Tryon Street in Charlotte to raise $3200 to transport Yemane's body to the African country where she was born.
A former Army soldier charged with killing Yemane made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon.
Davon Thomas turned himself in to police Monday night. Yemane was Thomas' girlfriend, according to police.
Thomas said nothing as a judge appointed him an attorney and ordered him held without bond.
Police charged Thomas, 27, with killing Yemane at his parents' Charlotte home early Saturday morning.
Yemane had come to Charlotte six years ago for a heart operation that saved her life. She had been living in Charlotte ever since, the last two years with a woman she came to call her mother.
"She was my daughter in every sense of the word," Loretta Caldwell told Eyewitness News.
Caldwell said she always screened the men that Yemane was going out with, but she failed to do it when Yemane started seeing Thomas about three months ago.
A background check would have revealed that Thomas was on probation for assaulting a woman almost three years ago.
"I was intending to do something and I didn't do it. Had I done it and I'd seen that past, I would never have allowed her to go out with him. And I'll hold that for the rest of my life," Caldwell said.